On December 11, 2019, the El Paso Independent School District posted an article online promoting how rainbow lanyards “help LGBTQ students identify” allies among district staff. The article states that the district’s “Counseling and Advising Department has a new colorful and vibrant way to show they are here to support all students in the District, including those who identify as members of the LGBTQ Community.” The article continues to explain that the “department this week began distributing rainbow lanyards to counselors and other key personnel that have the words ‘EPISD ALLY’ printed on them.”
The director of the department then cited “national advising core beliefs for professional school counselors” as stating that “all students’ ethnic, cultural, racial, sexual orientation and special needs are valued and considered in planning and implementing the school counseling program.”
The website for Franklin High School within the district promotes a GSA or “Gay Straight Alliance” club. The description of the club states: “We offer a safe space for ALL students to hang out, share your story, and build community. Our goal is to help create a safe, inclusive campus culture through meeting and action.” The GSA Network’s website explains that the goal is to turn students into political activists for LGBTQ and transgender issues:
GSAs have evolved beyond their traditional role to serve as safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth in middle schools and high schools, and have emerged as vehicles for deep social change related to racial, gender, and educational justice.
The GSA club has an Instagram account and in a post dated February 15, 2022, the GSA club asked: “Did you know that the FHS Yearbook will use your preferred name in the student pages?” The description for the post states: “So grateful for a yearbook that aims to be as inclusive and authentic to students as possible.”