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.


Family sues Georgia Dept of Corrections over 2017 Transgender Suicide


The parents of Transgender woman Jenna Mitchell are suing the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) over their daughters suicide.  In the lawsuit, GDC says she hung herself while an inmate in a Valdosta State Prison (VSP) and died at the hospital a few days later.

 WALB News 10 reports that Jenna Mitchell was seen with a rope around her neck threatening to hang herself at 1:30 pm.

The guards then taunted her and walked away. When they returned they did not lift her up to stop her strangling and did not call an ambulance when it was determined that she was unconsious. An ambulance was called but not until a tower guard did so later. 

The four defendants in the lawsuit are GDC, the warden at the time, Don Blakely, a correctional officer at the time, James Igou, and the Georgia Board of Regents. The regents board is named because it manages Augusta University’s program called Georgia Correctional Healthcare, which provides health care for inmates, including mental health care. 

Court documents show Mitchell was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery by intimidation in Union County in 2015.

In their lawsuit, Mitchell’s parents claim she died while in VSP because the prison and its employees failed to keep her safe.

They believe that violated her rights under the constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit said Mitchell was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and gender dysphoria and had a history of hurting herself.

Her parents said in the lawsuit they believe prison staff knew this and knew she intended to commit suicide on December 4, 2017.

The lawsuit focuses a lot on what happened between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. that day.

Around 1:30 p.m., the suit says Mitchell asked an attendant to find corrections officer, James Igou, and a sergeant, Wallace Richardson.

The lawsuit said Igou went to Mitchell’s cell and saw a noose around her neck.

The suit accuses Igou of taunting her and encouraging her to commit suicide.

Around 1:35 p.m., they say Igou walked away, and at least one other inmate told him Mitchell was committing suicide.

They say he laughed and shouted that she should wait until he got back because he “wanted to see.”
Before he returned, the lawsuit says Mitchell hanged herself.