This week read about Martina Caldera, who was killed in Texas last year, and students filing a lawsuit against a school for banning LGBT books in Missouri.

HRC Identifies 56th Trans Death in 2021

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) identified Martina Caldera, a Latina transgender woman, as the victim in the 56th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021. Oftentimes, trans deaths are underreported. Twenty twenty-one has the highest record of killings since the HRC started to collect data in 2013.

Caldera was found shot in Houston, Texas on Dec. 6, 2021, but police initially thought she was struck by a car. Her family suspects she was a victim of intimate partner violence.

Her brother, Noel Caldera, said that Caldera was in a relationship with a married man and said he was going to break the news to his wife.

Caldera’s family describes her as, “an amazing person, had the best personality, and called everyone on their birthdays.”

“We really just want to know what happened,” Noel said. “I believe [she] was killed somewhere else and brought there.”

Since her death, Caldera has been misgendered and deadnamed in the media.

Police won’t release additional information as the investigation is still ongoing. If you have any information you can contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Office homicide unit at 713-274-9100.

Students File a Lawsuit Against School District for Book Banning

books

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The Wentzville School District removed eight books from their libraries, prompting the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri to file a lawsuit on behalf of two families in the district.

The removed books include “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic Paperback” by Alison Bechdel; “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson; “Gabi, A Girl in Pieces” by Isabel Quintero; “Modern Romance” by Aziz Ansari; and “Invisible Girl” by Lisa Jewel.

According to the lawsuit, the books were banned “because of officials’ dislike of the ideas contained in the Banned Books and with the intent and purpose to prescribe what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true in matters of opinion.”

The ACLU says the school district cannot suppress certain viewpoints and perspectives just because not everyone agrees with them.

“The first amendment protects the right to share ideas, including the right of people to receive information and knowledge,” said Anthony Rothert, director of integrated advocacy of ACLU of Missouri. “We must protect this right, including educators’ and students’ rights to talk and learn about race and gender in schools.”

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