The DISD board according to the Dallas Voice Instant Tea blog met October 14 to discuss the anti-bullying policy, and the Dallas trans community probably needs to be speaking loudly to ensure that gender identity or expression is included in it before a final vote is taken on it at the end of the month.
Resource Center Dallas Strategic Communications and Programs director Rafael McDonald stated in a press release:
“We are pleased that DISD is revisiting its approach to bullying. Unfortunately, the proposed policy does not define which students are to be protected by it. As a result, it does not provide specific protections for LGBT students. It is vital for this board to specifically articulate who this policy is designed to protect, rather than simply stating a broad definition of bullying. Absent any specific protections, it could be inferred that it would be okay to bully students based on their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Given the rash of LGBT bullying-related suicides in recent weeks—including one in the greater Houston area—specifically articulated protections are not formalities; they are essential.
“Resource Center Dallas encourages the North Texas LGBT community to contact the nine members of the DISD board. Encourage them to modify the proposed anti-bullying policy to specifically include LGBT students. Board members still have time to improve the protections for the youngest members of our community. Contact information, including phone numbers and e-mail, can be found at http://www.dallasisd.org/about/boardcontact.htm.
Okay Dallas area TBLG people, time to get busy being agents of your own, and our kids matriculating in DISD schools.