NCTE’s Blueprint for Safe and Supportive Schools: A Resource for the Obama Administration’s LGBT Conference on Education

In preparation for the White House LGBT Conference on Safe Schools and Communities tomorrow in Dallas Arlington, TX, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is releasing a preview of a forthcoming publication, “A Blueprint for Equality: A Federal Agenda for Transgender People,” with the Safe and Supportive Schools chapter.

Download the chapter here.

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, transgender people face alarming rates of harassment (78%) and physical assault (35%) in K-12 schools because of their gender identity. Fifty-one percent of respondents who said they were bullied also reported attempting suicide.

“These statistics are devastating,” said Mara Keisling, NCTE Executive Director. “And though education is only one part of a multi-layered problem, education has an enormous relationship to employment, income, and health gaps among transgender people. This is why we’re pressing the Department of Education and Congress to act on regulatory and legislative solutions to make sure these gaps grow smaller.”

Among the policy steps outlined in the chapter, NCTE recommends that:

  • The President and the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services explicitly address bullying, harassment, and violence faced by transgender and gender nonconforming youth by continuing to allocate resources and attention to their current efforts.
  • The President and Congress swiftly pass the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.
  • The Department of Education mandates comprehensive suicide prevention education to all high school students with explicit discussion of the increased suicide risk faced by LGBT youth.

Read the full chapter to learn about the rest of NCTE’s policy recommendations.

Mara Keisling said, “The White House’s initiative to lead this conference reflects on the Obama Administration’s long-standing commitment to ensuring that all students have a safe place to learn and grow. We all deserve to be treated respectfully, and, if implemented, our policy recommendations would help ensure that transgender people can be part of President Obama’s commitment to a safe and supportive learning environment for all.”

7 Responses to NCTE’s Blueprint for Safe and Supportive Schools: A Resource for the Obama Administration’s LGBT Conference on Education

  1. Rebecca Juro says:

    There’s great stuff here, but I would suggest that at least one other thing should be included in any agenda intended to support LGBT youth. That’s the passage of an inclusive ENDA and/or state and local anti-discrimination protections. Many LGBT kids, especially older high school kids, maintain after-school jobs.

    A trans kid who is protected against discrimination in school but loses those protections once they leave the school property at the end of the day or when and if they are involved in an incident that involves the police or another outside agency is a kid who is essentially unprotected in the real world these kids spend most of their time in.

    Let’s also not forget that a lot of kids work after school to help support their families, so the lack of protections outside of the school is also detrimental to that kid’s ability to succeed in school regardless of the laws that cover them during the school day.

    • You make great points here, Rebecca. In writing the document, we ran into a few situations where we had to make close calls about which policy recommendation should fit under each section. And as I’m sure you understand, there are many trans policies that help address multiple problems. In this instance, we made the difficult decision to put ENDA in the employment section of the resource. Be on the lookout for the full Blueprint later this week!

      Best,
      Vincent
      NCTE

      • Rebecca Juro says:

        Vincent, I totally understand and agree with your rationale here, but I do think that we, as a community, should be pointing out these kinds of connections as often as possible, if for no other reason than to demonstrate how the impact of employment protections goes beyond simply protecting adult trans workers.

        The truth is that we’ve entered a time where the issues of poor and disenfranchised trans people and LGBT workers in general are being consistently thrown under the bus by the politicians in order to pander to the wealthiest gays and lesbian interests and their laser-like focus on repealing DOMA. In order to combat that and demonstrate the urgency of workplace protections. we need to draw these kinds of connections publicly and frequently.

        In short, we need to show the politicians who are happy to put price tags on American civil rights and sell them to the highest bidders that when they fail to protect our adult workers from discrimination, they’re also failing to protect our kids as well.

  2. […] issues to be discussed here.  And the National Center for Transgender Equality also released their blueprint for Safe and Supportive Schools, a chapter in a forthcoming publication, “A Blueprint for Equality: A Federal Agenda for […]

  3. […] the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Blueprint for Safe and Supportive Schools: A Resource for the Obama Administration’s LGBT Conferen… for more statistics and policy […]

  4. Constance Siegel says:

    Just an FYI, I attended the conference today, and I am not sure where this was left but I did not find a copy in everything the conference had to pick up, nor was it handed out. I assume there is a glitch (maybe not enough copies?), but thought you might like to know that not all attendees had access to this form. This would have been a great handout for several of the breakout sessions.

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