Hundreds of Students Walkout of Texas High school in protest of anti-LGBTQI Administration

Irving Texas. - Hundreds of LGBTQI students and allies walked out of McArthur High School Wednesday after they learned teacher Rachel Stonecipher, a sponsor of the Gay Stright Alliance Club hadn't been to work in days.

Ms.Stonecipher, an out Lesbian, had handed out stickers to fellow staff for their claserooms indicating it was a safe space for LGBTQI students. Those stickers were 'scrached off with keys' last week according to students.

 Students said the stickers were put up on many teachers' doors last year and this school year. But last week, students said they began noticing the stickers were being removed from the classroom doors by the administration. 

 At least one of the teachers who helped spearhead the effort has also not been at school since last Thursday, Sept. 16, according to students.

 One of the teachers, Rachel Stonecipher, spoke to WFAA about Wednesday's walkout. “There’s a lot of hurt, confusion, and fear from students who feel like the administration has a problem with them for being LGBTQ+,” Stonecipher said. “It was emotionally terrible for them," she added. In a statement, Irving ISD said district policy does not allow teachers to use classrooms to "transmit personal beliefs regarding political or sectarian issues."

Kelli Busey, publisher of @Planetrans has been testifying against anti-LGBTQI legislation in Austin since 2017 had this to say about it. "I can't fathom how the school administration considers the stickers a 'sectarian issue', except perhaps our pride flag now has black and pink stripes to be inclusive of transgender and black LGBTQI people.

The school administration could have left those stickers in place and seriously lowered the suicidal ideation and self-harm that is beleaguering kids now in Texas.

Related: Gov. Abbott tries for the fourth time to pass anti-trans legislation, calling three special sessions this year alone. 

The Trevor Project received nearly 4,000 crisis contacts from transgender and nonbinary youth in Texas in 2021, reports the LA Blade, with many directly stating that they are feeling stressed and considering suicide due to anti-trans laws being debated in their state. This new data comes during a year when Texas lawmakers have proposed nearly 70 anti-LGBTQ bills, including more than 40 bills that specifically target transgender and nonbinary youth — far more than any other state. The Texas State Senate passed its anti-trans sports ban SB3 this week, and the companion bill HB10 is now moving forward in the Texas House.

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