March 1, 2017
Dear Students and Families,
Last week the United States Departments of Justice and Education rescinded the guidance that the Obama administration issued less than a year ago advising schools districts to let transgender students use the bathroom of their choice. This recent move by the federal government has created a lot of uncertainty and fear about the status of students’ rights, especially the status of students who identify as LGBTQ.
Our three schools have been out in front on this issue, taking a proactive approach that respects student identity and inclusion and works continuously against discrimination and bullying. Despite the national political debates and about-faces, our schools will continue to be places where all students are protected and nurtured.
Here are links to two recent articles on the issue that provide context, both local and national:
- Arizona LGBTQ students face hostility, survey says, Arizona Daily Star, February 27, 2017
- Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgendered Students, New York Times, February 22, 2017
Additionally, an interview of a City High School student was featured in a KGUN9 news story this evening: Local transgender student responds to bathroom protection reversal.
Last week’s actions by the federal government were not the first of its kind since the new administration took office in January. We recognize that many students from a variety of backgrounds, especially those from immigrant and Muslim families, are feeling confused and threatened in response to proposed legislation. And Jewish students and families are increasingly concerned about the rise of threats against their community, including a bomb threat in Tucson earlier today.
On behalf of all of the staff at the Paulo Freire Freedom Schools, City High School, and CITY Center for Collaborative Learning, we want to assure you that our schools will continue to be inclusive and safe spaces for all of our students. It is also part of our mission to collaborate with our Arizona colleagues to help all schools become similar safe havens.
If students or family members have questions or suggestions about our policies or practices, please contact us. We welcome your input and collaboration.
Chad Blair, Brett Goble & JoAnn Groh, Principals
Carrie Brennan, Executive Director