Richardson Independent School District, in North Texas, applied for and received a grant to promote “LGBTQ+ identity” in its schools.
The district won the grant from the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit organization with a mission to “uplift, empower, and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth around the globe.”
Richardson ISD is using the grant money to revive its on-campus Gay-Straight Alliance club, now known as the Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA).
This is the second year the It Gets Better Project has awarded grant money to schools as part of its “50 States, 50 Grants, 5000 Voices” program, designed to encourage middle and high school students to explore sexual behaviors and far-left gender ideologies.
In 2023, the group handed out grants of up to $10,000 to 71 schools across the U.S. and Canada to fund projects that “support and uplift LGBTQ+ identity.”
“Amid ongoing efforts to silence or stigmatize discussion about LGBTQ+ identity in the classroom, it’s more important than ever to ensure that LGBTQ+ students feel that they are welcomed, accepted and able to be their full selves at school,” said Brian Wenke, Executive Director of the It Gets Better Project.
Through the 50 States, 50 Grants, 5000 Voices program, we are giving students, teachers and administrators the resources they have determined they need to help make their schools more LGBTQ+ inclusive and supportive. We’re so excited to watch these projects flourish and see the ways that schools and entire communities will benefit from these efforts to celebrate and empower their LGBTQ+ students.
The group credits American Eagle Outfitters and its intimate apparel sub-brand Aerie as corporate sponsors of the grant program.
Some grant recipients are using the money for “celebratory events” including drag shows. Several like Richardson are funding on-campus Gender & Sexuality Alliance clubs. According to the GSA website, there are three types of clubs: social, support, and activist.
Richardson’s Pearce High School lists a GSA club as a “place for LGBTQ+ students and allies to meet and discuss current events, school events and to have fun and feel safe.”
Richardson ISD is a “B”-rated school district in Dallas County with about 37,000 students. Just half of the students perform at grade level across all subjects.
According to the most recent data from the Texas Education Agency, Superintendent Tabitha Branum is paid a base salary of $286,000.