SB 1216/HB 800 is a blatant and vicious attempt to erase the queer and trans community from our public schools by banning any discussion of LGBTQ topics in textbooks, instruction materials, or supplemental instruction materials. This bill tells LGBTQ students that their existence is something to be ashamed of, and would have dangerous – even deadly – impacts on queer and trans young people across the state.
In a recent study, 98.8% of LGBTQ students reported hearing the word “gay” used derogatorily, with 91.8% of these students feeling severe distress because of it. Banning LGBTQ topics in public schools only perpetuates this behavior by making queer and trans topics something to hide rather than something to affirm.
This bill tells an already vulnerable population that their very identity is something to keep quiet about and try to get rid of, rather than something that’s innate, and worth expressing with pride and confidence. LGBTQ stories should be uplifted and discussed in schools, not shamed and discouraged.