Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Life and Death

I can’t get this Tweet out of my mind.

@katstaley Be especially kind to your LGBT students this week.  School can seem pretty pointless when your humanity is up for debate in your nation's highest court

This didn’t originate in Howard County but the sentiment is just as applicable here. Our students are watching. Our LGBT students are getting up, going to school, doing their homework, and wondering what kind of future they will be allowed to have.

An older article from Smithsonian has been making the rounds again on social media, reminding us that “Simply Having a Gay Straight Alliance Reduces Suicide Risk for All Students”. When the difference between having a space for acceptance and support or not can truly be a matter of life and death, you can imagine what watching this Supreme Court Case unfold is doing to our young people.

Howard County has come a long way in recent years in acknowledging and responding to LGBTQ citizens. So has the Howard County School System. Last Summer we had our first Pride Celebration. This Spring HCPSS will host its first Rainbow Conference.  It has taken the effort of many community members, students, teachers, and local leaders to bring us to this point. It’s a bit of hope  to contemplate during our current local controversies which are showing our County in a dark and unwelcoming light.

But the story at the Supreme Court right now is a test of that hope.

Take a moment to touch base with your LGBTQ friends and colleagues. These are truly gut-wrenching days for them. And, especially, be kind to the students who feel the weight of this so heavily. They need us.

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