Texas Students Rally for Inclusivity, Advocating for Positive Change Within School District

A student-led political group, Students Engaged in Advancing Texas (SEAT), has filed a federal complaint with the U.S. Department of Education in response to a Texas school district’s anti-transgender policy.

Seat Goes After Katy Independent School District

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Earlier this month, a group of students with the group Students Engaged in Advancing Texas filed a federal discrimination complaint against Katy Independent School District following their new anti-trans policies that went into effect recently.

Complaint Aims to “Challenge Impact on Trans Students”

Image Credit: Shutterstock /fizkes

SEAT, which exists to involve students in education policy decisions, said that they filed the complaint because it “challenges the policy’s adverse impact on transgender students, asserting violation of Title IX rights with gender identity discrimination and perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes and heteronormative gender roles.”

Outraged Students Demand Change

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

The students involved in SEAT were outraged about the new policy and felt they had no choice but to act. They noted that the board members for Katy ISD likely could not understand their perspective.

Students Call Out School Board Members

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A

“I cannot imagine that any of the current board members had to attend a school board meeting to fight for their rights at [our] age,” said Jarred Burton, one of the organizers for SEAT and a current Katy ISD student. 

LGBTQ Students Wish for Lighter Agenda

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Jacob Lund

“In a perfect, ideal school environment our GSA could just be for fun stuff, and be a place for queer people to gather and stuff,” Burton said of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance.

“We’ve Tried to Take a More Active Role in Advocating”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tirachard Kumtanom

“After this policy we’ve tried to take a more active role in advocating and trying to teach people to know their rights and all the things that they need to know in order to fight back policy,” Burton continued. 

Student Group Draws Community Support

Image Credit: Shutterstock / AlessandroBiascioli

Thanks to Burton and his peers’ work, they have gotten their community involved in fighting the district’s discriminatory policy. According to a release from SEAT, they “prompted resounding community opposition,” but the board still voted 4-3 to enact the new policy.

141 Anti-LGBTQ Bills Introduced in Texas This Year

Image Credit: Shutterstock / BUNDITINAY

Equality Texas, a political advocacy group, reported that 141 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in Texas in 2023 alone. Burton and his peers are working to fight each of them.

Bills Point To Broader Issue

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

SEAT’s partnership director, Da’Taeveyon Daniels, said these policies are just the tip of the iceberg.

“They’re Part of a Bigger Agenda”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ivelin Radkov

“Specifically in Katy and around that area, what we’re seeing is the policies that are being enacted are just a trickle down effect, and they’re part of a bigger agenda,” Daniels said.

“It’s Becoming a Concerted Effort to Silence” LGBTQ People

Image Credit: Shutterstock/ Bricolage

“We saw policies like this during the legislative session and we’ve seen policies even before that, but it’s becoming a concerted effort to silence the identities and the voices of people who are different from the heteronormative Texas-person,” Daniels said.

Student Safety-Driven Policies Are Anything But

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Burton also pointed out that the fact that the policy was written by adults but only affects children is telling. In an op-ed published in the Houston Chronicle, Burton said that the policy claiming to be about student safety is really having the opposite effect.

“It Is Clearly Driven by Ignorance and Hate”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dikushin Dmitry

“This policy tries to endanger and erase trans students all under the misleading guise of parental authority and student safety, when it is clearly driven by ignorance and hate,” said Burton. 

Anti-LGBTQ Policies “Attempting to Erase Queer Youth”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nick_Picnic

“Attempts at mental health awareness mean nothing with policies like this in place attempting to erase queer youth,” Burton continued.

The post Texas Students Rally for Inclusivity, Advocating for Positive Change Within School District first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gorodenkoff. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.

+ posts