March 4, 2014
In light of recent reports, our hearts continue to go out to the youth and his family. We take very seriously every story about any student not being safe and supported. We understand violence and issues of safety are pervasive problems in West Contra Costa Unified School District, and we share the district’s stated goal of ensuring all students are able to learn and thrive in a safe, compassionate, and welcoming environment. We continue our strong commitment to all students, and our open invitation to partner with the district to create a positive school environment remains.
We are deeply upset by the assault reported at Hercules High School yesterday, and our hearts and thoughts are with the young person and his family. School should be a place where all young people have the opportunity to grow, get an education, and simply be themselves without fear. Schools have a responsibility to take the well-being of all of their students seriously. Transgender youth experience higher rates of verbal and physical harassment and assault than their peers, and it is unforgivable that a school would ignore violence until it escalates to such a horrifying level.
The RYSE Center and Gay-Straight Alliance Network will work to support the young person, his family, the Hercules GSA and students. The family has reached out to the Transgender Law Center seeking legal options, and the Rainbow Community Center will be organizing a faith-based and community response.
Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression.
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a national youth leadership organization that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools by training student leaders and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout the country. GSA Network operates the GSA Network of California and the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites 37 statewide networks of GSA clubs. www.gsanetwork.org
RYSE creates safe spaces grounded in social justice that build youth power for young people to love, learn, educate, health and transform lives and communities.
The Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County envisions a society that embraces acceptance, safety and equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.