Miami-Dade School Board Considering LGBTQ+ History Month Recognition

Author: Donald Padgett

The Miami-Dade County School Board is considering a proposal for the school district to recognize October as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History Month, but the move is facing opposition from board members who say the recognition could run afoul of the state’s “don’t say gay” laws. The board had approved a similar resolution in 2021 but rejected the proposal last year following passage of the controversial law.

At a meeting on Wednesday, Vice Chair Danny Espino and members Roberto Alonso, Mary Blanco, and Monica Colucci expressed concern about the legality of the resolution, saying it might violate the Parental Rights in Education law’s limits on discussion of sexual and gender identity in the K-12 education system.

“We have to uphold state law, and it’s very clear what that law is,” Colucci said at the meeting, the Miami Herald reported.

“This item, it does not run afoul of the Parental Rights in Education law,” said board member Lucia Baez-Geller, who said she had added language to the proposal to ensure compliance with the law.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the controversial HB1557 into law on March 28, 2022, and the law took effect on July 1 last year. The law and more recent extensions prohibit the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in Florida public schools through graduation in grade 12.

Alonso, Blanco, and Colucci also expressed their personal beliefs that discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity are more appropriate at home with family than at school.

“Matters of gender identity and sexual orientation are family issues and are parental rights, everyone has the right to introduce these topics to their child when they feel necessary,” Colucci said, reported NBC affiliate WTVJ.

“Our students are out there and they’re visible, and we can’t put ‘em back in the shadows, unfortunately, like some people would like to,” responded Baez-Geller.

The board is expected to take further action on the proposal next week.

(Pictured above: Lucia Baez-Geller.)

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Donald Padgett

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