Thank you for joining us for CTXGSA’s Q+ Education Series. GLSEN Austin and Informed Parents of Austin are dedicated to making schools safe for LGBTQ+ students. Here’s a recap of easy ways for ALL parents to become better allies.
KNOW THE BASICS
- Need some Ally 101? – Check out the awesome Austin ISD 5th Grade Identity Lesson which is part of the Human Sexuality and Responsibility curriculum taught in May each year.
- Biological sex: male or female based on reproductive organs.
- Gender/gender identity: the way a person sees him/herself in relation to being male or female.
- Gender expression: the way in which a person expresses their gender identity, typically through their appearance, dress, and behavior (what everyone else around uscan see).
- Attraction: the feeling of being drawn to something or someone.
- Sexual orientation: describes which gender a person is attracted to.
- Are you an advanced ally? Quiz yourself with the 6th Grade Identity Match Game!
- Learn more about the Austin ISD Human Sexuality & Responsibility Curriculum at the official AISD site and learn more about why this curriculum is so important here and here.
- Make sure ALL Texas students benefit from comprehensive & inclusive curriculum by telling the State Board of Education you think it’s important. They’re revising the health curriculum for the first time in 20 years and it needs to address important topics like consent, sexual orientation and gender identity. The Texas Freedom Network is leading the charge and you can learn all about joining or hosting a virtual letter writing party here.
How to Be An Everyday Ally
- Small actions have a HUGE cummulative effect.
- Correct people if the misgender someone, even if that person isn’t in the room. Oprah Mag.
- Speak up when someone uses slurs or insensitive, or racially charged language. Oprah Mag.
- Recognize your own biases and privileges, and work to address them. University of Nebraska
- Hang a Pride flag or wear Pride/Ally gear. CNN.
- Don’t assume that all your friends and co-workers are straight. (Or your kids’ friends) GLAAD
- Bring your child to a Pride event and help them support pride events at school.
- Talk about your LGBTQ+ friends and LGBTQ+ topics at home.
- Participate in GLSEN’s Ally Week.
- Ask your child how their school supports LGBTQ+ students. If they don’t, ask the school. Lambda Legal
- Make sure your child’s school is LGBTQ+ affirming and has inclusive policies with these great tips from GLSEN.
- Attend school’s PTA meetings, Principal coffee talks and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Campus Advisory Council meetings.
- Request GLSEN support materials and training for teachers, school staff, bus drivers, and after school care providers.
- Make sure your school has a GSA and support it. Contact CTXGSA for more information.
- Follow district school board meeting and SHAC (School Health Advisory Council) meetings that cover topics around health, equity and inclusion.
Student Specific Local Resources
- GLSEN Austin – Provides materials and educational opportunities for educators, supports school GSAs, comprehensive policies and curriculum and is a wealth of research and resources for LGBTQ+ students and allies. Contact GLSEN Austin for more information.
- OutYouth – A safe place for youth of all sexual orientations and gender identities to be themselves. Provides many programs and services that promote the educational, mental, emotional, physical and social development of LGBTQ+ youth and their allies. Drop In services are now virtual, but still very comprehensive. Check out their GO VIRTUAL page.
- PFLAG – Free group and support meetings for LGBTQ+ individuals, families and allies. Visit the local website for more information.
- For a more comprehensive list of local LGBTQ+ resources, visit the Informed Parents of Austin resource page.
There’s so much information around the October 28th Sex Ed Board meeting that we wanted to make sure there was a handy place for everything you need to know. Voila!
Read it – Ask Questions – Share it and SHOW UP to our Information Session on October 24th and of course, the Board Meeting on October 28th!
First: Join us at Informed Parents of Austin’s Private Facebook Group and follow our Public Page for continuous updates.
WHAT’S GOING ON?
- On October 28th, the Austin ISD Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed comprehensive, LGBTQIA+ inclusive human sexuality and responsibility LESSONS (aka: sex ed lessons.) You can see them all here!
- The board already unanimously, and enthusiastically, approved the SCOPE & SEQUENCE of the sex ed curriculum in February. The scope and sequence is basically a detailed “table of contents” of the topics that the lessons will cover.
- The “Texas Values” crowd has been showing up at the past several board meetings and using the public comment period for hate speech about how this curriculum “indoctrinates children into the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle”, “normalizes” LGBTQIA+ students and undermines the family values the parents share at home. It’s gross. It’s infuriating. It’s sad.
Our goal on Oct 28th: To show up as a huge group of love, support and safety for the LGBTQIA+ students, family and staff who are speaking or in attendance.
HOW YOU CAN GET INFORMED & INVOLVED
- Attend our Sex Ed in Texas Information Session on Thursday October 24th. We’ll have tips on how to attend a board meeting, how to help make sure the lessons roll out smoothly and how to make sure that the State Board of Education’s new sex ed rules don’t squash all the work we’ve done in Austin ISD, plus give you simple action items you can start doing TODAY. We’ll have representatives from Texas Freedom Network, ACLU, HRC, TENT, and other amazing advocacy groups. Meeting is at Metropolitan Community Church, October 24th, 6:30-8:00. Click through for more information and to RSVP.
- Attend the Board meeting on Monday October 28th. You need to sign up to speak and all the rules are on the AISD Site. (We’ll give detailed info about these rules and the process and literally walk you through every single step at the info session on the 24th.) If you want to attend as a supporter, wear pride-wear and find us for stickers, flags, posters and more. We also have a few CTXGSA shirts (shown in first photo) left for purchase for $20 at the board meeting or information event. We’ll also have some GSA Pride shirts available for a suggested donation of $10. (Shown in second photo.) All money for both goes to OutYouth’s support of the Central Texas GSA Coalition.
- Follow Texas Freedom Network’s coverage of the State Board of Education’s sex ed revisions that are in the works NOW and will impact every student and family in Texas.
- Email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org saying that you support the new LESSONS, which you can view at https://www.austinisd.org/pe-health/health-education – It’s most powerful if you can pinpoint a favorite LESSON. (The new board meeting rule is that your 1 minute testimony has to pertain to the agenda item, which will be the lessons….We’ll share all the rules at the October 24th meeting, so PLEASE ATTEND.) Remember, the board members have been very supportive of comprehensive sex ed so please use this as an opportunity to thank them for their support thus far.
- Amplify the awesome lessons online by using this handy form to share your favorite lesson on social media.
If you need some handy research tidbits and evidence to show that Austin ISD parents are 94%+ in support of comprehensive, inclusive sex ed, please review this recap document. You can also visit past posts like this one or reference this handy recap sheet.
The new AISD sex ed curriculum will seriously save lives and you can be a part of it. Please join us and Get Informed & Get Involved.
Sign up for future updates.