Piggybacking off its push for diversity initiatives earlier this year, the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved designating October LGBTQ History Month throughout the district.
Students involved in Gay Straight Alliance clubs from multiple district schools spoke in favor of the board resolution and gave personal testimony about their experiences at school.
University City High School senior Alexandria Galvan said she wants the district to include more curriculum on the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
“I felt that our issues weren’t being addressed,” Galvan said. “It’s gonna help kids understand LGBTQ students more and the students won’t feel so isolated.”
October has been nationally recognized as LGBTQ History Month since 1998. The district also recognizes Bullying Prevention Month during October.
Board member Kevin Beiser said more needs to be done to create safe spaces at schools for LGBTQ students.
“Thank you for having the courage to come down here and speak out about what’s going on at our schools,” Beiser said.
“There’s bullying going on at our schools and some staff stand by and don’t stop it. We must embrace as a school district the FAIR Education Act and embrace all of our history.”
The board members voted earlier this year to implement mandatory training for all staff for working with LGBTQ students. District staff will implement staff training before the end of this year, said Vernon Moore with the district’s Office of Youth Advocacy.
An art exhibition by district students highlighting LGBTQ History Month is on display at the Eugene Brucker Education Center.
The resolution reflects the priorities of the school board, Beiser said.
“A resolution is a statement of values and this board, I know, values all of our children, including LGBTQ kids,” Beiser said.
— City News Service