Life Not Hard Enough For LGBT Youth, So School District Makes Them Get Parent Permission To Form A Club
The world is not a kind place for queer teens who don’t get the support they need at home. For some of them, a school Gay-Straight Alliance or LGBTQIA+ club can provide at least some of the encouragement and love they’re missing. So of course when school board members in Rankin County, Mississippi, heard that some students were interested in forming such a club, they decided to step in and shut that down. A safe space for marginalized students? Not on their watch!
Via MSNBC, here’s the kind, considerate response from school district superintendent Lynn Weathersby upon realizing that gay, bisexual, and transgender kids in his school district might have a shot at some emotional support in the buildings under his supervision:
â€œThere has been a group wanting to form a gay club. I talked to (board attorney) Freddie and several administrators about what we could legally do to limit organizations like that on campus that we donâ€™t want to endorse and donâ€™t want,â€ Weathersby saidâ€¦ .
Weathersby said after talking to the the board attorney and administrators, he found that the best strategy for limiting organizations is by requiring parents to sign a consent form to allow their students to participate in the club.
It’s okay, though, Weathersby and the other board members say – it’s not just LGBTQIA+ clubs that will be required to turn in parent consent forms, but all on-campus clubs. Because obviously, asking your parents for their approval to join Quiz Bowl is just like asking them to sign their permission about your sexual orientation.
When asked at a meeting what would happen if, perhaps, queer students actually did wind up getting parental permission, school board members responded that it would be up to the discretion of a school’s principal whether or not to allow any particular club – and raised the possibility that clubs of this sort might “violate educational standards and principles adopted by the school district such as abstinence-only sexual education.” Because as we all know, Gay-Straight Alliances and any similar organizations are required to hand out lube, condoms, and diagrams of gay sex positions.
The Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, and the Mississippi Safe Schools Coalition have all issued statements so far on behalf of students who want to form one of these clubs. So if acting in the students’ best interests isn’t enough of a reason for the Rankin County school board to remove the obstacle course standing between queer students and their goal of a support group, let’s hope that outside pressure will make them do the right (and legal) thing.
(Image: Max Lindenthaler/Shutterstock)