HISD will host its first-ever district-wide LGBTQ+ virtual summit for students in grades 6-12, parents, and caregivers on April 9th at 11 a.m.
The summit will focus on creating a safe space to discuss pressing issues impacting Houston’s LGTBQ+ youth. In an official announcement, the districts said the purpose of the event is to provide the necessary tools to navigate life as an LGBTQ+ student or an ally.
HISD Superintendent Millard House II will be present along with other district department representatives.
“School districts are a place for students to receive a high-quality education and our role as educators and as the district is to make sure students have everything they need to receive that,” said William Solomon HISD Executive Director for Innovation and Student Enrollment. “HISD is grounded in equity and our goal is that students leave with everything they need to be successful, feel safe, and supported.”
Texas Republicans have been at the forefront of the new measures that have targeted LGBTQ rights. In February, Gov. Greg Abbott required teachers and medical professionals to report to children’s protective services who help their kids receive puberty-suppressing drugs and hormones.
The state also passed laws that both restrict discussion of LGBTQ topics in schools and exclude transgender athletes in sports. In January 2022, Granbury ISD Superintendent Jeremey Glenn directed librarians in the district to permanently remove nearly 130 books from their shelves. Over 75 percent of them contained LGBTQ characters or themes.
Now, the latest controversy over Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his clash over Austin ISD’s Pride Week events has many children advocates who have raised concerns over the well-being and safety of these students.
“After this event, we plan on collecting feedback from our attendees to understand what resources they are aware of in the city, whether or not they feel comfortable and safe being themselves in our schools, and the support they need,” Solomon said. “Our work doesn’t stop here with this event.”
The event is free and will be hosted online via Microsoft Teams. To register, visit www.HoustonISD.org/HISDPride.