In the wake of the county school board’s decision to ignore LGBTQ History Month, the City of Miami Beach is seeking to right the wrong.
A resolution recognizing LGBTQ History Month will be introduced at Miami Beach’s commission meeting on Wednesday. The resolution, co-sponsored by Commissioner David Richardson, Vice Mayor Alex Fernandez and Mayor Dan Gelber, urges parents to use the school board’s failure to act as “opportunity to engage with their children and address LGBTQ issues and history in a positive light.”
In an 8-1 vote on Sept. 7, the Miami-Dade School Board declined to recognize LGBTQ History Month, a stinging consequence of the Florida legislature’s Parental Rights in Education law. The newly minted law, dubbed “Don’t Say Gay,” bans classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade with some district interpretations going farther into middle and high school grade levels.
“It was a shameful step backward,” Fernandez told SFGN. “An alarming bellwether of rising anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. The very reason why parent and student organizations should engage in conversation about LGBTQ history and consider adopting the draft resolution I hope to empower them with.”
The resolution establishes the founding of LGBTQ History Month in October of 1994 by Missouri high school history teacher Rodney Wilson and acknowledges the ramifications of bullying with at least one queer youth between the ages of 13 to 24 attempting suicide every 45 seconds in the U.S.