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.
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.
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.”