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WATCH: KY Teacher Of The Year Describes How Anti-LGBTQ Laws Endanger His Students

WATCH: KY Teacher Of The Year Describes How Anti-LGBTQ Laws Endanger His Students

Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill has been criticized across the country, but that hasn’t stopped right-wing extremists from pushing similar legislation in their own states. Now a teacher is speaking out about his own experiences, and those of his students.

San Pedro , CA – April 22: The San Pedro High School Pride Club, Fem Fellowship, and Pirate Dancers participated in a silent parade and a Break the Silence Rally on campus in San Pedro on Friday, April 22, 2022. The event was in support of the LGBTQ+ Community which is under attack in several states in light of the Don’t Say Gay and Anti-Trans Bills. Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram/SCNG)

Willie Carver is Kentucky’s 2022 Teacher of the Year. He’s also openly gay, and an advocate for LGBTQ students. However, in EdWeek, he described being afraid to go back into the classroom with the rise of laws attacking teachers for merely acknowledging and accepting their students’ identities.

He described the case of a teacher in another state who had resigned after parents complained that he wrote a message of inclusion — “You are free to be yourself with me. You matter.” — on the board, and students added flags and other symbols they identified with, including pride flags.

Now, however, he is talking about the dangers to his students from these laws. Watch below.

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“40% of trans people attempt suicide, nearly all before they are 25, but one affirming adult reduces suicide attempts by half…few LGBT teachers will survive this storm…Politicizing our existence has darkened schools.

One parent’s dangerous, false allegations that my [Gay-Straight Alliance] was grooming students were shared 65 times on Facebook I felt my students and I were unsafe. Multiple parents and I asked the school to defend us. One father wrote, simply, “Please do something.” The school refused to support us…School is traumatic. LGBTQ students are trying to survive it. They often don’t.

Year after year, I’ve received suicidal goodbye texts from students at night. We’ve always struggled to save those students, but now I panic when my phone goes off after 10’clock.”

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