EducationIssuesLocal NewsAustin ISD, Texas ‘Gay Straight-Alliance’ Network to Host ‘Pride Week’ in March

Details of the discussions and events related to "Pride Week" at Austin ISD could violate parental consent rights.
March 2, 2023
Next month, Austin ISD will host a “Pride Week” with a variety of events and themed days that will be supported by each school’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) coordinator.

Austin ISD Pride Week has suggestions for activities and resources to encourage campuses to “engage, educate, and inspire.”

Austin ISD provides links to “LGBTQ+ Definitions and Resources” like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), and the Trevor Project.

The resources provided to Austin ISD campuses are in coordination with each campus’s GSA and the Texas GSA Network.

Campus GSA and the Texas GSA Network provide links to a variety of resources for campus coordinators to hold meetings and provide information for interested students to organize events.

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A guide to holding discussions around “Police Free Schools” and “Let’s Talk Genders and Sexualities” are available.

Many of these online resources have a set of rules for guiding the meetings, such as the “Vegas Rule,” which stipulates that “what’s said here stays here.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton last year was vocal in his opposition to the “human sexuality instruction” that was taking place without parental consent and said that Austin ISD’s 2022 “Pride Week” activities were “breaking state law.”

The GSA “Police Free Schools” discussion guide provides a link for coordinators to host an activity titled the “K-12 Game of Life.”

This game is used to facilitate discussions around “ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline” by putting students in role-playing situations where they adopt an identity of a character and play out a situation based on a dice roll.

Some of these characters include explicit racial stereotypes.

Christopher, “a black student from Chicago, Illinois,” is arrested in the game during a situation surrounding school uniforms.

If the student rolls anything but a two, “Christopher” wears something other than the school uniform and the game-play situation states that “your teacher thinks you are wearing a gang color.”

Another character named Beth, “an undocumented Latina student from Denver, Colorado,” is arrested if she rolls anything other than a two or three, which means she is late to class and has the door slammed, prompting “a policeman to see you, calls you, and then arrests you for violating the local curfew law.”

The GSA advisor handbook has specific guidance for how to “advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement” of students for creating a “liberation” movement by their “commitment to racial and gender justice.”

The Texas GSA organization has additional posts for GSA advisors to “check their privilege.”

Their toolkit includes a comprehensive document that links to resources for “white privilege,” “male privilege,” “Christian privilege”, and “heterosexual privilege,” “age privilege,” and “thin privilege,” to name a few.

The document gives praise to Kimberle Crenshaw and the Southern Poverty Law Center for their work on “intersectionality theory” and “how to respond to everyday bigotry.”

Austin ISD has routinely been at the forefront of the progressive movement in education, including when they acted in defiance of reporting of “explicit” books like Gender Queer in their school libraries.

Texas lawmakers have been bold in their moves toward parental rights in education and restricting gender identity instruction in schools.

Filed by state Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco), House Bill (HB) 1155 “relating to parental rights in public education and prohibiting instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity for certain public schools” is one of several bills related to gender and sexual instruction in education this session.

“The sexualization of our children must stop. Parents and taxpayers have spoken loudly over the past year-plus,” Patterson said in a statement on the bill.

“The message is no more radical ideology in the classroom — particularly when it comes to inappropriate or obscene content.”


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Cameron Abrams

Cameron Abrams is a reporter for The Texan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Tabor College and a Master’s Degree from University of the Pacific, Cameron is finishing his doctoral studies where his research focuses on the postmodern philosophical influences in education. In his free time, you will find him listening to a podcast while training for an endurance running event.