1 petitions

Update posted 2 years ago

Petition to Ashby Kilgore, Jeff Stodgill

NNPS: Protect your LGBTQ Students and Staff

The Newport News Public School (NNPS) Statement of Non-Discrimination currently reads as follows:  The Newport News School Division does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, creed, marital status, age or disability in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Section 504, and ADA regulations.  As your students, families, teachers and employees, citizens of Newport News, and supportive allies of our LGBTQ community, we propose that NNPS expand this policy/statement to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. The signers of this petition are in full support of this change and implore the NNPS School Board to protect its students, teachers and other NNPS employees from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Most LGBT students in Virginia have been victimized at school. In 2013, nearly 70% experienced verbal harassment based on their sexual orientation and almost 50% based on the way they expressed their gender, 30% were physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved) based on their sexual orientation and nearly 10% were physically assaulted (e.g., punched, kicked, or injured with a weapon) based on the way they expressed their gender.  This cannot and should not continue to happen!   (Source: GLSEN Virginia State Snapshot). We need to treat all individuals in NNPS and in our schools with respect and equality.  Non-discrimination laws and policies should be at the forefront of our culture, not only in employment and treatment of adults, but even more so in our treatment and respect for our children. Opponents of adopting a non-discrimination policy for transgender adults and children frequently rely on false fears concerning bathroom/locker room issues. It should be noted that more than 100 cities across America have already passed similar non-discrimination laws and policies —and implemented them successfully. Those cities simply did not experience the things that opponents of these policies claim would happen. As long ago as 2011, 16 states and the District of Columbia had passed laws protecting transgender people from discrimination, and that number has grown in recent years. More than 125 cities and counties – many of them major ones – protect transgender people under their non-discrimination laws. These policies are fortunately being adopted on a widespread basis, and have been implemented successfully all over America. In addition, in May 2016, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice jointly published a letter that summarizes a school’s Title IX obligations regarding transgender students and explains how the DOE and the DOJ evaluate a school’s compliance with these obligations. This letter states that “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) and its implementing regulations prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance. This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.” Newport News students and community members, make sure NNPS hears your voice on this issue and that students and staff are extended these protections against discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender expression!  Please sign this petition, and/or send your e-mails to: (Superintendent) and (School Board Chairman)  

Prism Youth Community
134 supporters