Coordinated entry is a process designed to quickly identify, evaluate, refer, and connect people going through a housing crisis, such as homelessness, to housing. Lambda Legal reports that between 20 and 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ+ and are “frequently rejected” by their families or flee from long-term abusive placements. Forcibly expelling LGBTQ+ youth may mean that they are forced to live on the street. Good Shepherd Housing (GSH) has always strived to be a human services agency whose programs can be achieved and our impact measured.
Our services, programs, and housing have returned low-income households in crisis to independence and housing stability. The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, part of the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development, manages and coordinates services to help homeless people regain housing stability. This includes street extension services, emergency shelters, hypothermia prevention, and supportive housing. Arlington County Public Schools, Fairfax County Public Schools and Prince William County Schools have announced that they will not implement the new guidelines.
Jason Ballard (Giles County Republican) proposed House Bill 1434 which would prohibit “any member of the school board or employee of the school board from changing the name of a student enrolled in the local school division in any educational record related to that student” unless there is a name change order issued in accordance with relevant law. Legislation that is too broad prohibits any classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity for students in certain grades. This could lead to disciplinary action against a teacher who mentions his same-sex spouse. The measure was justified on the pretext of protecting “parental rights” but it has hidden policies enacted by conservative legislatures across the country that target LGBTQ+ people, including students, in public schools. Therefore, families should take simple precautions that will help keep their children safe and in school. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares said Thursday that school boards must comply with the state's new guidelines for transgender and non-binary students.
Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church), members of religious communities and representatives of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers union at a demonstration and march at Luther Jackson High School in support of the announcement of the Fairfax policy. The guidelines further state that “schools must meet the needs of all students” and the Virginia Department of Education is committed to working with school divisions to ensure a positive, safe and enriching learning environment for all students. Eradicating some school district boundaries and opening up school choice can help if a family can live almost anywhere and still have access to a good school; then real estate options expand. Florida's controversial “parental rights in education” bill was similarly based on the right of parents to control the material their children will have access to at school. As students prepare to return to school in Loudoun County after winter break, health officials are encouraging parents to take steps to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases to keep their children healthy. The Virginia Department of Education released its updated guidelines for transgender and non-binary students in the state on Tuesday. Of course, this requirement is subject to laws that prohibit the disclosure of information to parents in certain circumstances such as Virginia Code § 22.1-272.1 (B) which prohibits parental contact when a student is at imminent risk of suicide related to parental abuse or neglect. FCFT treasurer Emily Vanderhoff said that “these families told me that parents and their children were afraid of what school will be like for their children when they walk through the door on Monday”.
Some programs that aim to bring high school children from diverse backgrounds together in the same classroom have proven to be eye-opening.