Illinois Safe Schools Alliance Responds to Governor Pritzker's Executive Order

On June 30, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed an executive order in support of nonbinary, trans, and gender nonconforming students. Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (the Alliance) was pleased to join the Governor’s office, other advocates, students, and community organizations for the announcement of this life-saving proclamation. The event took place just blocks away from the starting location of Chicago’s LGBT Pride Parade. The executive order is a historic first for Illinois’s nonbinary, trans, and gender nonconforming students.

The executive order will create a task force to make recommendations to the Governor around creating affirming learning environments for all students. Furthermore, the order encourages the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt guidance in line with the report the taskforce provides. 

"As a former public school student and transgender woman, having an executive order such as this would have had a profound and positive impact on my education,” said Zaiden Sowle, 22, former Alliance Youth Committee Member, “I can’t wait to see the changes that will follow as a result of Governor Pritzker taking this momentous step forward.”

The Illinois Safe Schools Alliance (The Alliance) is elated that Governor Pritzker continues to be an ally working to create safe and affirming learning environments for our nonbinary, trans, and gender nonconforming students,” said Mary F. Morten, Board Chair of the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, “We look forward to working with the task force to develop recommendations and guidance to improve the learning experiences of every student.” 

“Members of the Governor’s taskforce will be announced in the coming months,” Morten said, “And once they are, we will be ready to hit the ground running to collaborate with them on a robust set of recommendations in an effort to build inclusive and affirming school communities for nonbinary, trans, and gender nonconforming students across the state. Only 27% of students in Illinois Pre-K-12 schools are in a gender inclusive environment with clear policies, procedures, and practices that ensure access to education in accordance with gender identity. (Source: Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, “Illinois Leads in Gender Inclusive Schools: Current Trends and Best Practices,” datasheet, Sept. 2016) This executive order can be the first step in changing that.”