Last week, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court targeting Ludlow School Committee members and staff of Baird Middle School. The Plaintiffs, four parents of students in the district, are being represented by attorneys affiliated with organizations which have an extensive history of anti-LGBTQ+ organizing.
Their goals are simple — the forcible outing of LGBTQ+ students and the disallowance of Ludlow from having policies supportive of transgender students, including respecting their chosen names and pronouns and access to emotional support. One of the issues documented in the complaint even involved a teacher telling a transgender student that they were “brave and awesome”. Every child deserves to have the adults in their lives treat them with that degree of kindness and respect.
Failure to treat students in ways that are consistent with their gender identity is discrimination and has very serious consequences to both their mental and physical wellbeing, as well as their academic performance. According to a 2020 report from the Mass Commission on LGBTQ+ Youth, 15.5% of LGBTQ+ students have said that they received support from an adult in their school but not from a parent. LGBTQ+ students are at greater risks for homelessness, suicide, self-harm, substance abuse, and a multitude of other issues. These issues are exacerbated by a lack of support from the trusted adults in their lives.
Teachers serve as mandated reporters because we expect that all students will see them as reliable adults. We entrust our educators with our children, not only to teach them their basic ABC’s and 123’s, but to also give them a safe and stable environment to grow and develop into the best versions of themselves.
To read the full complaint, in this case, please visit: https://www.losangelesblade.com/content/files/2022/04/gov.uscourts.mad_.243970.1.0.pdf
MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We partner across identities, issues, and communities to build a broad, inclusive, and politically powerful movement that changes hearts and minds and achieves policy and electoral victories.