If you’ve been anywhere near social media—and especially Twitter—recently, you’ve probably come across the discourse surrounding comedian Dave Chappelle’s recent comedy special, The Closer. The special streamed on Netflix as of Oct. 5 and almost immediately met criticism from folks regarding Chappelle’s transphobic and homophobic jokes.
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As Daily Kos continues to cover, Republicans are narrowly focused on discriminating against and excluding trans folks. Transphobia is alive and well at all levels of power in the government, but we’ve seen a particular focus on anti-trans bills move up in state legislators.
At Norwin High School, a public high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, area, two students decided to celebrate the school’s “Merica Day” by wearing Confederate flag attire to school. Yes, really. Apparently, Merica Day is part of a themed week the school puts on to celebrate homecoming. Merica Day, according to the superintendent, encourages students to wear red, white, and blue to school to show support for the United States.
Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland kicked off Indigenous Peoples’ Day by participating in the Boston Marathon on Monday, Oct. 11. Haaland, a member of the Pueblo of Laguna, is the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary. Among her goals as the U.S.
Republicans have taken a running leap into transphobia when it comes to keeping trans youth out of sports. Across the nation, state lawmakers have introduced bill after bill that aims to prevent trans youth—more often than not, trans girls—from participating in school sports. Unfortunately, their focus on the non-issue has given the topic unearned legitimacy among moderates and even some progressives.
Given the relentless efforts from Republicans to stir hatred toward openly trans folks of all ages, it’s important to celebrate every bit of progress we can get when it comes to protection and equality for one of the most vulnerable groups in our society. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, for example, signed a bill into law on Wednesday that offers important protections and dignity to trans students at public colleges in the state, as reported by the Bay Area Reporter.
Being a teenager is hard for everyone, at one point or another (or many points), no matter what. Even today, however, it’s still difficult for LGBTQ+ (or questioning) youth in a way that is unique from their cisgender, heterosexual peers. These difficulties can be even worse, of course, for LGBTQ+ youth who live with multiple marginalized identities; a bisexual teen of color, for example, or an openly trans high schooler who uses a wheelchair, and so on.
Just about the only thing students should have to worry about when going to school is learning. That’s an ideal scenario, but not all students are given the resources and support to live. School is an especially contentious subject given that we’re still facing the novel coronavirus pandemic and that both parents and community members are still raging about mask mandates.
One of the simplest and most fundamental ways to respect a trans person in your life—whether they’re family, friends, coworkers, or someone you’re just meeting for the first time—is to use the correct name and pronouns. Using the correct name and pronouns is just as important as, say, pronouncing or spelling someone’s name correctly. It’s not a matter of “opinion” or “comfort” but of being accurate, respectful, and frankly, correct.
At this point in facing the novel coronavirus pandemic, it sometimes feels like nothing enrages parents like mask-wearing requirements for students. Given that classrooms are generally inside, most students are too young to get vaccinated, and teachers may be immunocompromised or otherwise unable to get vaccinated themselves, it makes perfect sense that if you want your child or teenager to attend in-person school, they need to mask up.
Given that we’re still surviving a global pandemic, one would assume that most school-related coverage would center around the virus.
Donald Trump’s presidency is marked by so, so many failures, it’s hard to know where to start. He stirred division, spread hate, and made life markedly worse for countless vulnerable, marginalized folks. It wouldn’t be hard, for example, to say they felt depressed or betrayed when watching election results roll in on that historic night in 2016, or to find folks who felt increased anxiety leading up to the 2020 election.
We’re experiencing a global pandemic. Teachers, staff, and students who are back to in-person classrooms are trying their best to return to a degree of normal life and education while still being mindful of a potentially deadly virus. We know that countless parents have already protested mask requirements, and some, in fact, have even become physically violent over them.
As someone with student debt—in spite of being lucky enough to work full-time, including during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic—I know firsthand how many barriers come when you’re paying back not only a loan but a loan with a considerably high interest rate. Even on income-based repayment plans, student loan payments can seriously cut into the money you have to live in the day-to-day world, like when it comes to rent, groceries, or transportation.
In honor of Bi Visibility Day, one Young Adult writer talks queer media, food, and intersectionality
When it comes to adult readers, the Young Adult section of a bookstore can sometimes hold a bad reputation. YA books, however, are far from easy breezes or superficial fluff. In fact, YA writers are doing some seriously important work when it comes to getting diverse, nuanced narratives out into the world. Aaron H.
The nation has its eyes on teachers, staff, and parents of school-aged children as many classrooms reopen to in-person learning amid the pandemic. We know teachers have had a world of stress to deal with, ranging from parents infuriated over mask requirements to worry about becoming ill (or, conversely, bringing the virus to school) themselves. National media has covered a disturbing trend about teachers losing their jobs in recent months, and it has nothing to do with the virus.
Florida landlord requires new and current tenants, plus employees, to show proof of COVID-19 vaccine
When it comes to Florida making headlines in recent months, it’s more often than not because Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and fellow GOP lackeys in the state are leading residents into disarray because of poor pandemic management. COVID-19 cases and deaths have surged in the state on more than one occasion, and we’ve covered instances of people absolutely losing it over mask requirements.
There are plenty of reasons for parents, students, and the community at large to be concerned about schools reopening amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to concerns about vaccines, masks, and immunocompromised family members and peers, however, white people are apparently adding to the stress by using racial slurs in the classroom.
As the school year begins, parents have a fair number of concerns about COVID-19, safety precautions, and their children getting a safe and equitable education. Teachers and fellow staff also have extremely valid concerns about safety and job security amid the pandemic. As Daily Kos has covered, the pandemic is far from the top priority for a concerning number of folks. What else has parents upset? Apparently, the existence of openly LGBTQ+ teachers.
It’s no surprise to hear that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez maddened conservatives and sent Fox News, in particular, into a frenzy with her recent inclusive comments on abortion. Ocasio-Cortez participated in an interview with CNN in which she discussed Republican Gov.
There are countless valid reasons to be concerned about students, teachers, and other staff returning to in-person classrooms here in the United States. Mask mandates are all over the place, children under the age of 12 aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine, and both students and staff may be immunocompromised or live with folks who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.
Teacher removed from classroom after video joking about pledging allegiance to Pride flag went viral
If one thing doesn’t change, it’s the ability of conservatives to become enraged at the slightest bit of LGBTQ+ pride or acceptance.
Private colleges aren’t the only places leaving students with serious student loan debt—I would know
Talking about student debt and talking about the cost of college are topics that generally go hand-in-hand. While some progressives, like Sen. Bernie Sanders, argued on behalf of eliminating all student debt, period, others in the Democratic Party, like President Joe Biden, have taken up a much more conservative stance: forgiving up to $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower.
State colleges and universities play a funny role in this dialogue.
As the world still continues to combat the novel coronavirus, parts of life are beginning to reopen (at least temporarily), bringing many people out of their homes for the first time in a while. Whether that means returning to in-office work, returning to the classroom in person, or simply socializing face-to-face again, there’s been a good bit of online hysteria focused on one health topic that isn’t face masks and vaccine booster shots. What is it? Weight.
States across the nation have handled the novel coronavirus pandemic very, very differently, thanks to irresponsible Republican governors. It’s no surprise, then, that when it comes to masks in public schools, districts are handling the matter with varying degrees of concern for public health and safety.
Again thanks to their Republican leaders, Texas and Florida are concerning both residents and the rest of the country with bans against mask mandates.
As students, teachers, and other school employees return to the classroom for in-person learning, many are worried about the novel coronavirus. Unfortunately (and frankly, unsurprisingly), COVID-19 is not the only horror people have to worry about. Racism is still alive and well in America’s school systems, with one recent example coming out of Salinas High School in Salinas, California.
As countless surveys and reports have shown, LGBTQ+ youth experience higher rates of bullying, violence, and isolation than their cisgender, heterosexual peers. Trans youth, especially, have a tough time in school. When looking at violence on a structural level and considering, say, the intersections of gender identity and class or sexual orientation and race, for example, we can pull out even more concerning numbers.
Police identify recent shooter at Michigan pier as plotter of prevented high school shooting in 2018
At this point in the novel coronavirus pandemic, there are so many stories about schools closing, workers protesting, and people using their last breaths to discuss the vaccine—either wishing they had gotten it or still uttering anti-vaccine propaganda—that the instances begin to blur together.
Since the novel coronavirus pandemic first hit the United States, people on all sides of the political aisle have praised physicians—as well as others in health care, like nurses and janitorial and cooking staffs—for their tireless work and dedication in the face of increased workload and, frankly, increased trauma.
I am one of the first to admit frustration and disappointment when it comes to student loan relief. We heard from Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren about their sweeping but feasible plans to cancel—or at least reduce—the serious burden of student debt on the campaign trail. Amid the pandemic, Donald Trump did, technically, do a good thing by pausing payments and collections on federally-held student loans.