A resolution passed by The National PTA at its 2016 Annual Convention & Expo in Orlando last weekend calls for “explicit federal statutory protections” for gay and transgender individuals in addition to those that “currently address discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, [and] disability.”
The National PTA supports “legislation that specifically recognizes LGBTQ as a protected group and addresses discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression,” according to the resolution, which is entitled Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals as a Protected Class.
A “protected class” is a group of people with common characteristics who are legally protected from discrimination under federal and state laws.
The resolution, which originated in Burbank, California, directs PTA leaders to “encourage states and school districts to incorporate inclusive policies and practices that create and maintain safe learning environments for all students.”
It also calls for the creation of “updated health education standards that deal with the issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”
Such standards should incorporate “age-appropriate, medically accurate and culturally sensitive information on LGBTQ issues into existing health and other appropriate curricula,” the resolution states.
The non-profit group, which calls itself “the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association,” is encouraging “state, councils and local units nationwide to review district and school policies that address bullying and support revisions and amendments to these policies that specifically discuss sexual orientation and gender identification/expression as they relate to harassment and discrimination.”