In December, our State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal took a huge stand against hate alongside the heads of education in California and Oregon: “To our students who are transgender: We hear you. We see you. We support you. We will protect you”
Here is why this stand is so important: This is as dangerous a time as ever for our precious LGBTQIA+ community. They have been facing transgender violence in record numbers. Meanwhile, the current administration has pushed through a military “transgender ban.”
In 2014, The University of British Columbia published a very important study of school-based strategies to reduce suicide. You know what they found? Simply having a gay-straight alliance reduces suicide risk for all students, and, specifically, heterosexual males. ( https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/ijcyfs/article/view/12856)
“Given consistently higher documented risk for suicidal ideation and attempts among LGB and mostly heterosexual adolescents, prevention efforts should be a priority, and school-level interventions, such as GSAs, may be an effective approach to reducing this risk, while also offering prevention benefits for heterosexual boys.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Olympian
In other words: bonds between gay and straight students benefit everyone.
The leaders of K-12 education of the entire West Coast of the United States sent the world a message: When you take a stand for LGBTQI+ people, all people are safer, especially heterosexual males.
This has given me much hope, and much pride in the leadership of our state and of our unified West Coast.