FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mike Webb, President
Preferred Pronouns: They / Them / Their
Open Letter to the HISD Board of Education Trustees re: Quality Education for all Students
HOUSTON, TEXAS— The Houston GLBT Political Caucus is an organization dedicated to equality, equity, and access. This dedication to these values extends into the governance and issues that affect our schools. We have been watching with much interest the proposals that Superintendent Carranza has brought to the board and want to take time to discuss those proposals with you.
We are deeply concerned with the recent proposals regarding how money flows into schools. We feel strongly that all children deserve schools with a counselor, nurse, and librarian. As you know, a disproportionate share of LGBTQIA students face bullying and other social struggles at their respective schools. These students may have parents who are unsupportive of their sexuality, but a caring, trained adult such as a counselor or social worker at school can be a life changer. We call on you to ensure that no matter what model of funding the board chooses to utilize, policy is written to ensure all children have access to these life-saving resources and that equity is at the forefront of all decisions.
Additionally, we are aware that the State is putting much pressure on the HISD board to close or privatize schools with high concentrations of students of color and students in poverty. However, we believe that all students should have access to a quality education within their own neighborhood and deserve to have their schools run by a democratically elected school board. The HISD Board of Education Trustees should not be facilitating the creation of a second, separate set of governance for schools within the district. We ask you to vote against any partnerships, charters, or closures and alternatively, take legal action against the State to halt further harm to already marginalized Black and Brown communities. As the largest district in the State of Texas, HISD has the power to stand up and fight back.
The LGBTQIA community is no stranger to taking our issues to the courts to achieve our rights. Often, the fight was considered risky. However, we have seen much success. Obgrefell v. Hodges led to the Supreme Court granting equal protection for marriages between same-sex couples. G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board led to greater protections for transgender students. Benitez v. North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group led to greater protections for LGBTQ people in healthcare. We have seen the legal system used to support and improve protections for marginalized communities, and we expect you to use the courts to protect our students and their rights to neighborhood schools.
If you truly value equality, equity, and access, please vote to use whatever legal remedies available to ensure that our neighborhood schools continue to provide a quality education to all students.
The next General Membership Caucus meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at the Montrose Center (401 Branard St., Houston, TX 77006), where members will also decide if we are going to endorse in the upcoming runoff elections. Visitors are encouraged to attend the monthly meeting to learn more about the Caucus. For more information about the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, Caucus events, or volunteer opportunities call 713-521-1000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our web site at www.thecaucus.org.