Thursday, August 30, 2012

Have A Great 2012-13 School Year Houston TBLG Students!

While I was enroute back to Houston on Monday the 2012-13 school year kicked off in the various school districts in the area, at Houston Community College, Texas Southern University, Prairie View A&M University and at the University of Houston.  Rice started classes on August 20.

I hope you rainbow students matriculating in HISD schools and those college campuses I mentioned got your school year off to a wonderful start

Wanted to point out for you TBLG students in the area that in HISD the anti-bullying and employment non-discrimination policies have gender identity and sexual orientation language in them, so for you rainbow community kids matriculating in HISD schools, know you are covered if people start jacking with you.

Unfortunately the other school districts in the area have yet to follow HISD, the largest school district in Texas and seventh largest in the country's lead, but a statewide anti-bullying law takes effect September 1..

On the local college front, HCC has gender identity and expression language in its non-discrimination policy along with Rice University, which has had it since 2006.  The San Jacinto College system along with UH-Clear Lake also has gender identity and expression language in their non-discrimination policies. 

On February 15 Texas A&M's President R. Bowen Lofton added sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression to the yearly TAMU-College Station employment memo. 

"...It is our policy to not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Furthermore, we will maintain a work environment free from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression."

Although my alma mater as of yet has not yet incorporated gender identity and expression language into their nondiscrimination statement, in January 2010 the UH Vice Chancellor of Legal Affairs, Dona H. Cornell issued a memo stating that transgender individuals are protected from discrimination at the University of Houston based on the analysis of the court case Lopez v. River Oaks Imaging & Diagnostic Group.

Unfortunately neither area HBCU has sexual orientation or gender identity language in their non discrimination policies, but interestingly TSU's Thurgood Marshall School Of Law does.

Hopefully TSU and Prairie View A&M will see fit to join other local colleges and universities in the Houston metro area and the TSU Thurgood Marshall Law School to expeditiously add sexual orientation and gender identity language in their non-discrimination statements.

It would be nice for these HBCU's to set a sterling example in the SWAC and other HBCU campuses in this region and around the country of being leaders on this issue just as they have for decades produced outstanding leaders in their classrooms.  The SGL and trans students who matriculate on your historic campuses deserve it.

Houston area rainbow community students, keep working to get that education and hope you will have a fantastic 2012-13 school year.

1 comment:

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