Safety Not Guaranteed – Texas Students Stage Walkout to Support Queer Teacher

Written by | The Lens

Adolescence is an emotional minefield. Insecurities erupt at seemingly random intervals, upending any temporary sense of “normalcy” and creating the need for support and understanding.

But those commodities are in short supply these days, especially if you live in Texas.

The Lone Star State has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. They are spending an inordinate amount of legislative time trying to deny transgender athletes the right to participate in student sports.

Is that because Texas already solved the pandemic, homelessness and climate change? Nope, they don’t even think these “hoaxes” exist!

BubbaLand also drafted a draconian anti-choice law that deputizes citizens to hunt down abortion advocates for the princely sum of $10,000 – which is especially terrifying given the fact that Texas just ratified their ammosexual fantasy allowing anyone over the age of 21 to openly carry a handgun without the pesky need for a permit or even rudimentary firearms training.

Because who needs learning, right? Lousy nerds, that’s who!

Unfortunately, some students are still trying to study and (gay gasp) survive amidst a hostile humanitarian crisis centered squarely in TX. The need for safe spaces is more urgent than ever, but even those are under attack now.

The Gay-Straight Alliance at MacArthur High School in the Irving school district recently festooned their doorways with rainbow stickers and posters. These inclusive decorations sent a message to LGBTQ+ youth and those who care about their wellbeing: you are protected.

Not so fast, argued the administration.

The safe space signage was summarily removed from campus. Simmer on that for a moment – the very idea of safe spaces is anathema to the bigots in charge of MacArthur High.

Instead, they issued the following statement on Twitter (because tweets are always so enlightened and reasonable – insert sarcasm emoji here).

Administrators regard community and camaraderie as partisan issues. They targeted the Gay-Straight Alliance for pushing a political and sectarian agenda. In short, they see their own students and teachers as enemy combatants in a culture war that has already consumed all the good sense Texas ever had.

“I was freaked. The kids were freaked out,” admits Rachel Stonecipher, an English teacher at the so-called educational institution.

In an interview with the local CBS affiliate, Stonecipher continues, “I was a little scared too because I’m the only openly, very obviously gay teacher, lesbian teacher.”

But her students would not stand for such prejudice from the powers that be. Hundreds of kids marched in solidarity against oppression and division.

Their walkout is just the start of a severely uphill battle.

The fate of MacArthur High School is yet to be determined. How long will Rachel Stonecipher be welcomed in their hateful halls? When will the administration stop interrogating members of the Gay-Straight Alliance? How many civil liberties and basic human decencies will be stripped away in the name of Texas politics?

We demand answers, and we cheer the brave activists who are leading the charge.

File Photo / Staff 




Last modified: September 30, 2021