Here you will find issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community and ways you can help.
This Tuesday, May 3, Duval County School Board member Charlotte Joyce will introduce a resolution in support of the recently passed 'Don't Say Gay' bill. The resolution also suggests rolling back protections that are in the district's LGBT Student Support Guide.
We are hoping to defeat this resolution at the meeting and need public speakers in opposition to this resolution.
The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be held at the Duval County School Board Building
1701 Prudential Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32207
Cline Auditorium, 1st Floor
If you are able to attend the meeting:
Plan to arrive 20-25 minutes early so you can get through security and obtain a seat in the auditorium. Once the auditorium is full, you will be sent to overflow rooms which are not ideal.
We want our supporters in the auditorium where they are visible.
Anyone planning to speak needs to complete a speaker’s card and turn it in before 6:20pm. Put on the card your information and that you are against the proposed resolution/item 22.
Late cards are not accepted. Turn your card into the administrative staff and it will be time stamped. People will be called to speak in the order the cards were turned in to the administrative staff.
Do not bring signs, noise makers, banners etc. into the building.
You will be given up to 3 minutes to speak when you are called and a time will display how much time you have. When your time is almost up, the light by the podium will turn yellow. When your time is up, it will turn red. Finish your sentence, thank the school board and leave the podium. Always remain polite and courteous even if others around you may not be.
What should I say?
If needed, supplement your message with some of the points below:
The Duval County School Board has an obligation to it students to provide educational excellence for every student, every day and has promised to intentionally focus on student achievement, safety and well-being
Somewhere between 18.7% and 25% of Duval County High School students identify on the LGBTQ spectrum according to Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data from 2019
We know from data collected during the 2019 Duval County Youth Risk Behavior Survey that self-identified LGB students report these following adverse experiences at significantly higher rates than their non-LGBT identified peers:
Is it no surprise then that LGB identified youth also were:
Demand to know what the Duval County School Board will be doing to ensure the safety and well being of its students, especially their LGBTQ students given the disparities those youth experience.
Other talking points:
If you are unable to attend the meeting, or if you want to put your concerns in writing in addition to speaking, consider writing an email or leaving a message for your school board member.
How to Contact the Board Office
We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday and thank you for helping to defeat this harmful and unnecessary resolution.
Several LGBTQ and Allied Leaders in Jacksonville
The Don’t Say Gay bill, which bans discussion of LGBTQ people or issues in primary grades, would further stigmatize the LGBTQ community, chill efforts to create inclusive school environments, and isolate LGBTQ kids who are already at staggeringly higher risk of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation than their peers.
The Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is working on an initiative called the “Stop WOKE Act.” The aim of this campaign is to censor classroom and workplace conversations centered around racism, discrimination, or injustice. The act wants to implement electronic monitoring of students and teachers. There are already schools banning books and avoiding conversations around the subject to stay ahead of potential legal liability.
As a parent there is only one thing I want for my children; for them to know that they are loved and accepted exactly as they are, without exception. As the mother of a bisexual child, I cannot fathom our home not being a safe space for her to exist, question, and discover her place in the world. But I know that not every home is like ours. Not every parent feels the way I do. In fact, as a progressive Christian parent, I have been forced to acknowledge that my approach to parenting my child is often questioned at best and judged at worst.
I will be the first to tell any parent that conversations about gender, sexuality, etc. are not easy to have. It can require parents to mute their knee-jerk reactions, silence their fears in favor of love, and to do their homework so they can best support their (and our) children. I will also be the first to say that we will not always get it right and it is imperative that both we and our children have access to the trained guidance and support of teachers, the ally-ship of guidance counselors and the support of their peers. I also agree that parents and legal guardians have the right to be informed of developmental and educational issues by schools at large.
All of that being said, our children spend roughly 40 hours per week in educational environments and another estimated 10 hours per week in extra-curricular school activities. This equates to more than half of their waking hours at school. When read in its entirety, Florida’s pending HB 1557 (informally known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill), amounts to nothing more than state sanctioned manipulation of teachers, administrators and support.
Having read the bill and its amendments in their entirety, I can candidly state that there is nothing but damage to be done through its ratification. Teachers will be limited and subsequently culpable for simply providing a safe and supportive environment for precious children and their families. Without a doubt, this is a tumultuous & divisive topic and as a parent, I strongly urge you to read the full language of HB 1557 (along with other legislation on the docket for Florida) and to remember that ignorance and bigotry breed best in closed-minded environments where control is the primary goal and silence is the catalyst.
Articles – Good topics for articles include anything related to your company – recent changes to operations, the latest company softball game – or the industry you’re in. General business trends (think national and even international) are great article fodder, too.
Mission statements – You can tell a lot about a company by its mission statement. Don’t have one? Now might be a good time to create one and post it here. A good mission statement tells you what drives a company to do what it does.
Company policies – Are there company policies that are particularly important to your business? Perhaps your unlimited paternity/maternity leave policy has endeared you to employees across the company. This is a good place to talk about that.
Executive profiles – A company is only as strong as its executive leadership. This is a good place to show off who’s occupying the corner offices. Write a nice bio about each executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
Imagine that you cannot talk about who you truly are or about the fact you have two dads, in a safe space. You cannot talk about who your parents are. No one has the right to re-write someone’s story. It is their story to tell. A child should not be punished for who they are ever! School should be a place of safety and not fear. Our children should be able to feel safe in school to speak to who they are and be able to hear all of the facts and history of their community.