URGENT PLEASE HELP

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idk anymore
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URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by idk anymore »

The school board in my high school is working to add a policy to the school district forcing teachers to out students to their parents without student consent. We live in an incredibly right wing town, and my friends fear for their lives as they believe their parents will physically hurt them if they are outed. Over 18 of us have gone to the school board meeting to speak, despite the constant spewing of hate speech. Teachers, staff, and every school psychologist has supported us. We've cited various sources offered alternative policies and various other things yet the school board refuses to listen. I don't want my friends to get hurt but I don't know what I can do.

Is there anyone someone can put me in contact with us to help is in any way?

My friends are scared and I'm scared for me. I really need help on this one.
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Sam W
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Re: URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi idk anymore,

I'm so sorry, that sounds like such a terrifying situation and you and your friends have already put in so much effort to try and stop it. TSER has a list of resources, including legal ones, that might offer you some starting points: https://transstudent.org/resources/high-school/. The ACLU may also be a good resource; they have a lot of advice, and they even have a way to get in touch with them and try to get help or support: https://www.aclu.org/issues/lgbtq-rights/lgbtq-youth

You may have already done this, but I would also look at the specific laws and policies in place in both the state and the county you live in (https://nhlegalaid.org/know-your-rights-lgbtq-student); even if a district is conservative, if the broader laws protect LGBTQ students, then pointing out that a policy like this is in direct violation of them might make them back off.
idk anymore
not a newbie
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:22 am
Age: 16
Awesomeness Quotient: I have a pretty good sense of humor
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: He/Him
Sexual identity and orientation: Pan, mostly
Location: Epping, NH

Re: URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by idk anymore »

I have looked into the ACLU in the past. Unfortunately they ACLU sung the praises of a school with an identical policy, because it was the first one to have a policy at all, not because it's actually good. That statement, however, is working against us.

I will look into TSER. Thank you!

Unfortunately the laws in the area are incredibly vague on the matter.

Thank you
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Sam W
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Re: URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by Sam W »

You're welcome, I hope TSER is able to help! And how odd about ACLU, since this kind of policy is usually a thing they push back on. Since you mention the school staff are on your side, do you get the sense any of those adults would be willing to (or already are) consult with or find a legal expert to help you all out?
idk anymore
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 7:22 am
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Preferred pronouns: He/Him
Sexual identity and orientation: Pan, mostly
Location: Epping, NH

Re: URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by idk anymore »

I am not sure, however, am not optimistic. Both the superintendent and the school board want this policy and many teachers fear for their jobs on this issue. Most teachers have been forced to make anonymous testimonies.
I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole.

~Morgan Freeman
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
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Location: Desert

Re: URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by Sam W »

Ugh, that's just awful all the way down. I have a few more resources you could try. The NH Civil Liberties Union might be more dialed in on how to address this issue than the general ACLU: http://www.nhclu.org/. GLAD also has ways to contact legal advocates who might be able to help or advise: https://www.glad.org/know-your-rights/glad-answers/. You could also look into the GLSEN chapter in New Hampshire, since they'd be the most knowledgeable about the ins and outs of fighting this kind of policy in your state.

Too, how involved have parents been in this fight? Have there been a lot of vocal, supportive ones speaking out?
Carly
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Re: URGENT PLEASE HELP

Unread post by Carly »

Hey idk anymore -- I am so sorry you're going through this. Has any literature or reporting on this policy said there's a reason why its needed? I'm trying to figure out why the ACLU would support a policy like this because it's my understanding they believe outing students is a civil rights violation. I'm wondering if there is a safety concern that the decision makers in your school/district think they're combating but actually aren't. I have a little experience with policy analysis and would be interested in learning more about what they're trying to enforce. Feel free to link me to whatever info you have, especially whatever the ACLU said about the school you knew of with the identical policy in place. I'm not an expert by any means, but I'm happy to read it all over.

I'm disheartened to hear that you and some of your classmates have not only taken the risk to speak at the meetings but also offered alternatives and your voices are still left out of the discussion. There are so many policies and laws, both locally and nationally, that that are written and passed without the people they would most impact being in the room or involved in the process. This is ever present in policies that are geared toward young people, especially their sexuality. Adult allies can be extremely useful and valuable in this situations; it sounds like you and your classmates have already started to involve them. I agree with Sam - I think it's a great idea to involve any supportive parents, especially if faculty and staff aren't getting through. I can't speak for the status quo in your town, but the folks on your school board are elected officials. Often it is their best interest to listen to their constituents (aka the people who can choose to vote or not vote for them, aka parents in your town) to serve their community as their position requires but also for the selfish reason of keeping their seats on the board when the next election rolls around. I think parents would be a great tool here. Do you know any parents you can talk to? How do your parents feel?

I also wanted to know a little more about what you meant by the laws pretraining to this issue are vague in your area. Do you mean the language is broad and non-specific to LGBTQIA+ folks, or do you mean there are no protective laws in your town? Something to know is that policies in a town cannot contradict state laws. When policy is passed in a state, it applies everywhere - even down to the school district. If a school district or town creates a policy that conflicts a state law, it's my understanding there could be legal action. If you're able, I highly recommend reviewing the resource Sam sent and this this break down of policies in NH with
someone who is more fluent in law in NH. This law was passed in NH in 2019.

Some other info I found that might be helpful:
* Resources for LGBTQ+ Students through the US Dept of Education's Office of Civil Rights (includes how to file a complaint)
* Haven NH for LGBTQIA+ friendly domestic violence support with an office in Epping, NH for any emergencies (your profile says you're in Epping, hopefully this helps)
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