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Statement on New Hope Solebury School District

From Executive Director, Ted Martin:

Every student deserves a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future—including students who are transgender and gender non-conforming.  Equality Pennsylvania, the statewide LGBTQ advocacy organization, appreciates that the New Hope Solebury School District recognizes this basic and important fact and we encourage the school board to vote to accept the proposed policy aimed at creating a fair and equal learning environment for transgender and gender non-conforming students.

What we know is that transgender and gender non-conforming youth that are raised in a supportive and nurturing environment at home and at school do very well. Those who face bullying and harassment at school have greater mental health problems including substance use, depression and suicide.  Every day, valiant students walk the school halls as forced activists of what has become one of the most contentious issues of our time. This decision is much more about young people’s lives then about politics. It’s about young people learning math and history while planning a prom and finalizing a college essay. It’s about the many parents, teachers, principals and school boards who have stood by young people to extend protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. It goes back to one of the first lessons we all teach our children – treat others the way you would like to be treated.  Please vote YES on this proposed policy and do it knowing you are making young lives better and ensuring a stronger future for all of us.

 

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