In an absolutely disturbing nightmare scenario, a Black teenager in Woodsboro, Texas, says he was attacked by three fellow teens wearing costumes resembling Ku Klux Klan (KKK) robes. The high schooler, whose identity has not been revealed as he is a minor, was out for Halloween when he was allegedly attacked by the teens with a taser gun, as reported by The Independent.
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Eager as ever to jump backward in time, conservatives have used their time amid a global pandemic to push anti-queer legislation and try to ban books. As Daily Kos has covered, we’ve seen librarians face potential obscenity charges over stocking books with LGBTQ+ and sexual education themes. We’ve heard Texas school administrators suggest teachers need to include an “opposing” view of the Holocaust when they stock their classroom libraries.
High school can be a treacherous experience for many people, especially if you were in any way different from your peers. Teenagers (like, frankly, adults) can be cruel, exclusive, and often live with many complex emotions, traumas, and obstacles they don’t know how to express or seek help about.
The United States has a long, long way to go when it comes to protecting, honoring, and respecting LGBTQ+ people. There have been significant wins in relatively recent years—marriage equality, for example, and the growing number of openly LGBTQ+ elected officials—but we’ve also seen hateful legislation signed into law and violence against vulnerable queer groups continue year after year.
Trans teen sues Tennessee over discriminatory anti-trans sports bill that’s keeping him on sidelines
As Daily Kos has continued to cover, Republicans have been more than happy to jump into anti-trans hate as a way to distract people from their failures in office. While some state-level legislation has died in committee, some has made its way through both the statehouse and senate and made it all the way to the governor—and some, sadly, has even been signed into law by Republicans.
As Daily Kos previously covered, a large-scale controversy has targeted a small library in Campbell County, Wyoming. Why? Anti-LGBTQ+ hysteria, of course. As you might remember, several community members were upset to realize that children’s and young adult books about LGBTQ+ issues and sexual education were available for check out at the library. These complaints resulted in 27 books being challenged, a process that any library patron can initiate for any book.
While many of us are (understandably) happy to try and forget Mike Pence, one former history professor, Lora Burnett, doesn’t have that particular luxury. How come? As reported by The Texas Tribune, Burnett was fired from her job as a professor at Collins College, a publicly funded community college in North Texas, near Dallas.
Between the global pandemic, the Trump era, and the stuff Republicans spew on a regular basis, the bar is high for describing anything as “surreal” or “bizarre.” With that in mind, an incident at a high school in Hazard, Kentucky, certainly fits the bill. What happened? As reported by Insider, Hazard High School was celebrating its homecoming week and included a “man pageant.
As Daily Kos has covered, Republicans are eager to attack trans folks via a handful of approaches at the state level. Banning trans girls from participating in girls’ sports teams, for example, tends to get a lot of national media coverage.
If you’ve been thinking about donating to your local diaper bank, take this as a sign to do it today
As the nation has faced the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, there’s been a crucial conversation about food insecurity. As Daily Kos has covered, we’ve seen unusually long lines at food banks and schools scrambling to get enough food into cafeterias to feed hungry children. One topic that gets less coverage, but is just as is essential, is diapers.
Even before the pandemic, surveys have shown that about one-third of families struggle to afford diapers.
In the time we’ve battled the novel coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen several state lawmakers push regressive, exclusionary, anti-trans bills that attack some of the most vulnerable folks in our country. Some of these bills fizzled out, but some, disturbingly, are now law thanks to Republican governors of their respective states.
This Wednesday, Oct. 20, many folks around the world are recognizing International Pronouns Day (IPD). Started in 2018, this is a day for people to raise awareness about the importance of using the correct pronouns for people, to share educational resources for people who want to learn more, and to remind folks about the serious dangers people who exist outside of the traditional gender binary face. The end goal is for sharing pronouns to be a common practice.
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.
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.