Miami School Board Rejects Plans to Observe LGBTQ History Month

MIAMI (AP) — The overwhelming majority of the Miami-Dade School Board has decided not to recognize October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Month, which included a measure to educate 12th graders about two issues of the Supreme Court regarding the LGBTQ community.

Parents, teachers and students spoke for more than three hours on Wednesday, with one group citing student indoctrination and the other talking about how Nazis banned gays and lesbians with a pink triangle. The board then voted 8-1 against the measure, which was offered by board member Lucia Baez Geller.

Outside the school board headquarters, where people waited to speak during the meeting, a group of Proud Boys got into a loud argument with someone raising a trans flag, the Miami Herald reported.

“There is an election year and the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is a tool used by some to spread misinformation,” Baez Geller said. “This is just misinformation.”

She told the newspaper that the measure is “primarily to recognize dignity and respect for each other.” She also noted that seniors can choose not to learn about the two Supreme Court cases — Obergefell v. Hodges, which recognizes same-sex marriage, and Bostock v. Clayton County, which states that an employer cannot fire someone because he is gay or transgender.

Throughout the year, other months are recognized for teaching students about history, including Hispanic Heritage, Black history, and Women’s History. October is National LGBT History Month.

Last year, the school board recognized LGBTQ month but did not include the stipulation to add the two Supreme Court cases.

School board member Christ Fraga, who was the only opponent last year to recognize LGBTQ month, said she thinks “endorsing and promoting it as something everyone should participate in crosses a line of imposing family values.”

Among those who opposed the measure, some said it violated their religious beliefs, while others said the administration adhered to the indoctrination and sexual abuse of children. Some falsely claimed that the measure would adopt a new curriculum for students to learn about LGBTQ+ issues without parental consent.

Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended a law banning sexual orientation and gender identity classes from kindergarten through third grade, which critics have called the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The governor also got involved in school board race campaigns this year, supporting two Miami-Dade candidates who won races last week for seats on the already conservative board. Those candidates will not take office until November.

Max Tover, a pastor and parent in the district, led the people outside in prayer and asked the board members to reject the motion. He told the Herald that passing the measure is “a Trojan horse”.

Maxx Fenning, president and founder of the nonprofit PRISM FL, which provides sexual health information to LGBTQ+ youth, likened the opposition to the measure to the way Nazis banned homosexuals by making them wear a pink triangle badge to reflect their sexual orientation. to give.

The final vote came around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, after the board took an hour break to listen to discussions about the district’s budget. Some in the audience cheered while others sat quietly.

Miami-Dade’s public school system is the fourth largest in the country, with 331,500 students.