LGBTQ+ Advocates and Moms Speak Out Against CD 1 Republican Candidate Karoline Leavitt Targeting LGBTQ+ Youth
Most Granite Staters agree: “LGBTQ+ Students Belong in New Hampshire”
MANCHESTER, NH – Today CD 1 Republican Candidate Karoline Leavitt held a press conference outside of West High School in Manchester, NH to demand that school officials out LGBTQ+ students to their families – a move that directly interferes in parent-child relationships and could put some Granite State students at risk for harm.
Advocates for LGBTQ+ youth and New Hampshire moms released the following statements.
Linds Jakows, 603 Equality: “LGBTQ people belong, and sometimes schools are the only place for LGBTQ youth to feel safe being who they are. 603 Equality rejects all attempts to create unsafe learning environments for students, risk their mental health, and undermine the state’s obligation to provide an adequate and inclusive education for all students. No LGBTQ+ student should be deprived of the safety and affirmation a public school can provide.”
“Every child deserves a safe, healthy, and affirming home environment, but when that is not possible – or when a child is not yet ready to have a conversation with their family about their identity – schools should not be put in the place of outing that student and potentially putting the child at risk. More than half of LGBTQ+ youth have seriously considered suicide, and 1 in 5 transgender or non-binary youth attempted suicide in the past year alone. However, those whose pronouns were respected attempted suicide at half the rate. We need to support and protect LGBTQ+ students.”
Sarah Robinson, Education Justice Campaign Director for Granite State Progress: “Our schools should be places of belonging, where all children have the freedom learn in a safe and affirming environment. As a mom myself, I want my children to be valued in every space they are in. Coming out to a parent is a big moment in a child’s life. Regardless of how parents feel about their children’s identity, teachers and school officials should not be put in the position to interfere with that parent-child relationship. We also know that for some students, coming out puts them in serious danger at home. We have a responsibility for the safety of our students.”
Marcella Termini, parent of Manchester School District students: “Most of us want to see our children thrive, and work in close partnership with our schools to make that happen. Politicians like Karoline Leavitt are attacking LGBTQ+ students just to score political points and try to drive a wedge between parents and public schools. It’s dangerous and it’s wrong. LGBTQ+ kids belong in New Hampshire. If your kid is not telling you something, that should tell you something. Creating supportive home environments that are welcoming and affirming is the best approach so that children know they can have that conversation when they are ready.”
Meanwhile, Granite Staters have made it clear that NH supports LGBTQ+ youth. Local communities have rejected both politicians and policies that promote so-called parental rights or Don’t Say Gay bills, book bans, and other efforts to harm LGBTQ+ students and undermine school efforts to create affirming, inclusive learning environments. Examples:
- In March school board elections, Granite Staters across the state overwhelmingly rejected candidates who targeted a strong, inclusive public education.
- In May, the New Hampshire state legislature rejected a bill which would have removed community protections for children, including requiring mandatory, immediate disclosure to parents about changes in gender identity and expression at school, even if it put the student at risk or danger.
- In September, the City of Rochester handily blocked a proposed book ban by Senator and City Council James Gray to ban 4 LGBTQ+ books from the city library.
Every time politicians come after our LGBTQ+ kids, our community will rise up to protect our children. Every child deserves to be safe, healthy, and loved.