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Board recognizes ‘OUT for Safe Schools’ and National Coming Out Day (10-15-19)

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Unified Board of Education voted unanimously today to endorse ‘OUT for Safe Schools,’ ensuring schools serve as safe spaces for students and others who may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ).

Authored by Board Vice President Jackie Goldberg and co-sponsored by all board members, the “Celebrating OUT for Safe Schools and National Coming Out Day” resolution officially recognized the “OUT for Safe Schools” campaign and October 11 as National Coming Out Day.

“While we are all in a celebratory mood, it is important to remember that in a majority of states in this country, it is still legal to be discriminated against merely for identifying as LGBTQ,” Board Vice President Goldberg said. “For too long – and still today in 2019 – there is a mentality among many of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’” Our work must continue until our world becomes about ‘we’ and all of us together. I greatly appreciate the leadership and all of the hard work among so many in our district every day to make this a safe space for our children, and all who love and support them.”

“All of our students are deserving of equal treatment – without prejudice to their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation,” Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “As educators we set the example. All of our students have a right to a safe and encouraging learning environment. To our LGBTQ students: we stand by you, and we support you always.”

The passage of the resolution also affirms the board’s recognition of October as LGBTQ History month.

“Although there has been a great deal of progress, LGBTQ students continue to face challenges,” Superintendent Austin Beutner said. “This resolution underscores our commitment to make sure every school is a safe and welcoming environment for all.”

“I've always believed that an ideal world is where people give each other the space to be people,” Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III said. “Our world is full of beautiful differences and perfect imperfections. We have one life and one shot at being who we truly are and the best we can be. I want all students to know that they are loved when they come to our schools. And, this resolution, which I am proud to support, takes an important step in that direction.” 

“I am always proud of Los Angeles Unified when it comes to standing up for the rights of students and staff,” Board Member Mónica García said. “And while I applaud our students who have bravely come forward to share their stories, there are still too many who feel isolated and alone. I am hopeful, thanks to the leadership we’ve shown, that our children will grow up in a world that is more equitable than the one we know.”

“National Coming Out Day is a reminder that coming out is not just a one-time event,” Board Member Scott M. Schmerelson said. “It is important for students to feel safe when they go to school every day. I am proud to say that Los Angeles Unified takes this commitment to ensure the safety of our students, families and employees very seriously. Through the promotion of a safe environment for all students, anti-bullying campaigns, proper guidance and support, our LGBTQ kids will know they are not alone.”

“Our world is a better place when love wins and everyone is free to be themselves,” Board Member Nick Melvoin said. “I am proud of the work that Los Angeles Unified undertakes every day to promote inclusivity, awareness and respect. We will continue to make sure that our schools are safe places for all of our students and staff.”

“I hope our schools throughout Los Angeles Unified were able to recognize and celebrate National Coming Out Day last week,” Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “I am proud of the work our district has done to foster safe and supportive schools for our LGBTQ students. We know there is more work to do, and I hope that we will continue to push for an educational environment that is truly welcoming to our students.”