Discriminatory policies threaten LGBTQ+ students

In protecting the anonymity of seven Central Bucks students, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania is calling out the school district for alleged discriminatory policies.


By filing a federal complaint against the Central Bucks School District, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania spoke out against discriminatory district-wide policies on October 6.
Seven anonymous Central Bucks students have brought allegations to the ACLU chapter causing them to file the complaint. The students allege that the recently passed district-wide policies have led to LGBTQ+ students needing to eat separately to avoid harassment.
These policies include banning pride flags and instructing teachers to deadname and misgender transgender students, along with many more discriminatory guidelines.
According to a statement from the ACLU chapter of Pennsylvania’s legal director Witold Walczak and staff attorney Richard Ting, these actions are “immoral, unethical and illegal.”
This recent situation should concern LGBTQ+ advocates, especially students in the surrounding area.
It is evident in reading about the situation that these school board members who allowed and pushed these policies through to action across the district do not care about the students that their actions affect.
Wide-spread discrimination such as this leads to worsened mental health for LGBTQ+ people, most importantly teens in high school. This scenario of mental health decrease is already happening in the Central Bucks School District.
According to Walczak and Ting, there have been several incidents of LGBTQ+ students in the district resorting to self-harm.
Recently, this incident has become more concerning with a letter from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to the school district, reminding them that continued discrimination can
lead to federal financial assistance being taken away.
Despite this event being contained in the Central Bucks School District, it shows a trend that the country as a whole is facing right now.
Nationwide, politicians and school officials are not listening to LGBTQ+ students, specifically transgender students in their areas.
Laws such as Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill” demonstrate what can happen if someone does not step in and prevent the bigotry from further spiraling out of control. One incident where no one steps in to stop it can lead to a series of incidents that end up harming more people.
There are critics of the ACLU chapter’s actions that will say that these policies are merely for “parental rights.”
This line of thinking is severely harmful because these people fail to realize that in advocating for parental rights, they ignore students’ rights.
In the same way that they ignore students’ rights, these arguments ignore the problems that Walczak and Ting are pushing for the Central Bucks School District to address properly.
The bottom line is that Central Bucks’ LGBTQ+ students should not be discriminated against because of their identity.
Listening to the students that experience those school environments every day should be just as, if not more, important than listening to parents who do not know the effect that these policies have on their children.