Group Rallies to Counter Messages Aimed at UT Transgender Students
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
SALT LAKE CITY -- As the issues surrounding transgender and LGBTQ students become increasingly politicized in Utah, one group is providing support for those who identify differently from their peers.
Utah FAM, an alliance founded by Utah educators, recently held an inclusion rally at the state Capitol to validate the tens of thousands of LGBTQ teachers, students and families in Utah's public schools.
Allison Martin, co-founder of Utah FAM, said some districts and even the Utah Legislature have taken actions that isolated and shamed transgender kids. In one district, a student asked his teacher to read a book to the class about a boy with transgender issues. Martin was stunned by the reaction.
"The district not only banning the book "Call Me Max," but also pulling every book that had to do with racism, varying abilities, differences in religion or other types of things, and then individually re-approved with the exception of anything LGBTQ," Martin reported.
District officials said the review process was standard procedure. Martin also noted a video of a boy being cheered on while he cut down a Pride flag in front of his school went viral, and state lawmakers considered a bill to deny certain types of health care to transgender kids.
She explained Utah FAM hosted the rally to counter negative messages.
"Our transgender students saw this in the news," Martin observed. "They saw what happened, just even reading a book that included a transgender character was considered so controversial that the book had to be banned, which speaks a lot to whether or not a student's identity is acceptable in school."
Martin, who is also is an assistant principal at a Salt Lake City high school, believes much of the sometimes harsh, anti-LGBTQ rhetoric comes from misunderstandings and the political belief they are challenging the status quo.
"So anything that's disrupting the traditional systems of power, I guess, is coming into question," Martin contended. "And the same people who attack the transgender kids who attack anti-racist work."
get more stories like this via email
LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …
Health and Wellness
By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …
SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…
BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…
HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …
Health and Wellness
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …