Calls to Action: HB3 Students Experiencing Homelessness, SB88 LGBTQ Students, & SB 140, SB141 Gender Affirming Care
HB3: Support for Students Experiencing Homelessness
We know the last few years have hit working families very hard, often disproportionately more than families with more resources. And although federal funds provided short term help, those programs will not outlast the pervasive concerns around child poverty.
Georgia counted 41,600 students experiencing homelessness in fiscal year 2019, but 35,600 students in 2020 (per an AJC article). Education experts believe the numbers are actually higher, but the COVID era has undermined efforts to reach students. Students experiencing food and housing insecurity have challenges in school, including but not limited to increased stress, developmental delays, and social-emotional complications.
House Bill 3, with lead sponsor Sandra Scott, seeks to re-calculate state funding to local school systems, and update key definitions for homelessness and student poverty. The text of the bill can be read here: https://www.legis.ga.gov/legislation/63471
Please contact your state representatives and urge them to support HB3. Find your representative here.
“Don’t Say Gay” SB 88
Republicans in the General Assembly are once again attacking the LGBTQ+ communities with a copy-cat “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Echoing manufactured concerns with CRT bills, Senate Bill 88 is dangerous censorship bill targeting students and educators. Our allies at Georgia Equality and Intercultural Development and Research Association need our support to push back on this extreme right-wing agenda.
SB 88 would censor conversations about LGBTQ people in schools. The intentionally vague legislation would deter students and teachers from addressing legitimate educational topics and interfere with teachers’ ability to do their jobs. The bill has an “opt in” provision and creates arbitrary requirements for all parents to provide written confirmation for certain conversations with students. SB 88 would also prevent schools from recognizing a transitioned gender unless the gender is changed on a birth certificate. It would also restrict teachers from discussing gender identity with students unless the parents sign off on it first.
Denying students an inclusive curriculum or access to books can lead to negative impacts on their mental health, academic performance and sense of well-being. We need to leave lesson plans to teachers– who are the experts– not lawmakers with political agendas. Our lawmakers need to stop meddling in classrooms and focus on solving the real issues facing our school system– like teacher shortages and inadequate funding. Stop targeting vulnerable youth with extreme right wing policies.
Please contact your legislators and implore them to vote against SB 88. Find your state senator here.
From Georgia Equality – SB140, SB141 Would Block Gender Affirming Care
SB 140 and 141 are politically-motivated attacks against an already vulnerable group of young people in Georgia. We all want what’s best for our kids, which is why it’s so important for families to have access to health care that meets their needs and allows their kids to grow up healthy and safe. For transgender kids, this might include specialized health care, called gender-affirming care, that has been endorsed by pediatricians and proven to help mental health and well-being.
Every major U.S. medical and mental health organization–including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, Federation of Pediatric Organizations and American Psychological Association–supports access to gender-affirming care for transgender young people and adults. Families deserve privacy and respect when it comes to personal health care decisions– decisions that should be left between families and medical providers, without political interference. You can use this form to contact your state senators.
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