Updated: Jun 18
To RSVP and more details: https://www.mobilize.us/equalityflorida/event/463399/
This started out as a rally to encourage the school board to have a comprehensive no bullying policy. We speculate that some extremists got wind of our rally and they are encouraging people to show up to support Ms. Joyce's defeated resolution that wanted school board members to say publicly they 100% supported HB 1557 which is being challenged in court for a variety of reasons including the possible harm it might do to LGBT students and the frivolous lawsuits HB 1557 might encourage. Now we need a big crowd. Please join us from 5 to 6 for the rally and stay for the school board meeting if you have time. Duval County Public Schools shortened their LGBTQ Student Support Guide from 37 pages to 7 pages. At the last school board meeting, before they reduced the guide to 7 pages, they heard from a hateful group of people attacking LGBTQ+ students and their families. We need to show that a large contingent of the community wants all students to feel safe in our publicly funded schools. The organizers of the rally encourage you to arrive at 5pm to join the rally. Please also complete a comment card while you're there. Suggested things to write on the comment card:
The LGBTQ Student Support Guide, which has been around for years, has helped to ensure that all students are safe, affirmed, and respected in school.
The school board and school district must not erase protections and force LGBTQ students back into the closet.
Duval County Public Schools must focus on safety, inclusion, and academic excellence. The school district should not sacrifice the wellbeing of LGBTQ students and their families because of misinformation and harmful politics.
Duval County Public Schools should aim to protect all students and respect all families—including LGBTQ+ students and families—so they can learn and thrive in a safe classroom environment.
The DCPS LGBTQ Support Guide was established to ensure that the safety of every student is met and the rights of all parents are protected.
Our district should focus on education, not discrimination. As a community we implore this board to address learning gaps and the mental health challenges facing our students. Not to contemplate the removal of protections, stigmatize access to mental health resources, and erase our students and their families.
Our teachers and school staff are overburdened and under-resourced. I support the 1 mill dedicated revenue source and using some of those funds so there is at least one mental health counselor in every school.
Our LGBTQ students need the protection of clear anti-bullying guidelines and also clear guidelines to protect their privacy. Mental health counselors can encourage students to share with their parents and they can help parents learn how to communicate with their children so their children share information with them.
The removal of the DCPS LGBTQ Support Guide will add to the confusion surrounding HB 1557 which the Florida legislature passed this year. The teachers and staff need guidance. The families and students need assurances.
LGBTQ students should have the same opportunities to learn and thrive as other students, instead of being bullied, harassed, and told that they don’t belong.
The dangerous anti-LGBTQ language that we have heard at board meetings is having an impact. Our schools are less safe now for LGBTQ kids than they have been in the past decade. Our job should be to protect every student, including LGBTQ kids, from discrimination and harm.
Please share this RSVP link to encourage LGBTQ+ supporters and allies to come to the rally and/or speak at the Duval County School Board meeting. We must continue to fight for LGBTQ students!