According to my sources, all LGBTQ language has been scrubbed from the Montana Every Student Succeeds Act- meaning they only want non-LGBTQ students to succeed.
This is blatant discrimination at its finest- the OPI has decided “let’s hit our most vulnerable students with a complete denial of reality”. This cannot stand. I urge you to express your displeasure at this move by writing the OPI here: ESSAinput@mt.gov .
This is institutional bullying- and we cannot let this stand.
Update from Kim Leighton, Pride Foundation, Montana staff:
Approximately 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as #LGBTQ with the number one reason being family rejection. Parents or legal guardians often kick their children out of the home once they come out, simply for who they are and who they love; or the home becomes so untenable they are forced to leave. This is both heartbreaking and alarming as approximately 7% of the total youth population identifies as LGBTQ.
After nearly a year of working with allies at OPI to get inclusive language specific to the disproportionate impact of youth homelessness on LGBTQ youth, we’ve learned that the draft of the Montana State ESSA Plan has removed all LGBTQ language. The erasure of queer youth from an entire policy is unacceptable. Pride Foundation is working with service providers, partner agencies, organizations and national partners to address this. We will keep fighting to make sure queer youth experiencing homelessness are heard, seen and valued across these policies.
The public comment period is open until August 11th. You can submit comment at the following link: ESSAinput@mt.gov .
I am committed to supporting LGBT folks. They need to be at the table. All of us deserve dignity.