Indianapolis, Indiana – The Indianapolis Public Schools district passed a resolution on Thursday, affirming its support for LGBTQ students in the largest school district in the state of Indiana.
This comes after Governor Eric Holcomb signed Senate Bill 480, prohibiting minors from receiving medical care, including hormone therapy and puberty blockers, as well as mandating that transgender youth de-transition by the end of 2023.
The law also comes on the heels of the recent approval of House Bill 1608, which puts limits on educators’ discussions of human sexuality in pre-K through third grade and requires teachers to notify parents if a student requests to change their name, title or pronouns while at school.
In a clear display of support for the LGBTQ community, IPS Commissioner Kenneth Allen read the resolution aloud, stating that the district’s core value is actively fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or age. The resolution was passed with an aim to ensure that every student and staff member feels safe and welcome in their classroom and place of employment.
As the ban on gender-affirming care for minors goes into effect on July 1, the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit earlier this month, seeking to stop the law from going into effect. Many educators and activists are concerned that these laws will impact arts education and limit students’ ability to express themselves freely.
Devin Lintzenich, an art teacher at Arlington Middle School, expressed her concerns during the Thursday meeting, stating that she is worried about the bills forcing her to take actions that could harm students. Lintzenich fears that she may have to inform her students that the classroom is no longer a safe place for them to express themselves due to the actions of a few.
Despite the recent legislation, the Indianapolis Public Schools district remains committed to fostering an environment where all students are treated with dignity and respect, and where they can express themselves freely without fear of discrimination or prejudice.