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Board approves LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Resolution

Board approves LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Resolution

LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Resolution June 21, 2022 A RESOLUTION of the Osseo Area School District Board of Education to acknowledge the value of the lives of our trans, lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, queer, intersex, two-spirit, asexual, nonbinary, and gender-expansive scholars and staff

WHEREAS, by recognizing Pride Month, the District supports, models, and advocates for policies, practices, and curricula that honor and respect LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and their families; and

WHEREAS we are committed to creating environments for our transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive youth to not experience trauma and harm and to show up as their full authentic selves as stated in our district vision “to unleash and enhance the brilliance of our scholars to thrive and change the world;” and

WHEREAS ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools is the fifth-largest school district in the state and serves a self-reporting population of 2.7% (1) of students who are transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive, and 20% (2) of students who identify as LGBTQIA+; and

WHEREAS the month of June has become a symbolic month in which lesbians, gay, bisexual people, transgender, and supporters come together in various celebrations of Pride; and

WHEREAS School Board Policy 508 states that all school district students, including transgender and gender diverse students, deserve respectful and inclusive learning environments that value students’ gender identity and gender expression. The school district strives to provide programming and facilities where all students feel safe and supported; and

WHEREAS School Board Policy 102 prohibits discrimination and harassment based on a person’s protected status which includes the following: race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, disability, sexual orientation, including gender identity or expression, age, family care leave status, or veteran status. The school district also makes reasonable accommodations for disabled persons; and

WHEREAS sexual orientation and gender expression-biased bullying are among the most common forms of harassment in schools, and scholars who are gender-expansive are more likely to be targets of harassment, bullying, and violence; as “The majority of LGBTQ youth (52%) who were enrolled in middle or high school reported being bullied either in person or electronically in the past year.” (3) and

WHEREAS Osseo Area Schools seeks to eliminate transphobia and homophobia in any form and is committed to examining our own practices, procedures, and policies to identify structural barriers that are embedded and perpetuated in the educational system; and

WHEREAS the problems of society are mirrored in schools, and these problems can only be fully addressed with a united effort of community and school coming together for the betterment of our student's future; and

WHEREAS, in 1993, Minnesota amended its Human Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity in employment, housing, education, and public accommodations; and

WHEREAS Osseo School Board’s Strategic Directions include the expressed goals to “create safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning environments that foster global curiosity, belonging, innovation and engagement;” and “address, acknowledge, and reduce systemic disparities, barriers, and inequities as we lead, develop and align our district toward continuous improvement”; and NOW,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Independent School District 279 School Board supports the following district and department operational plans that value and support the lives of our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Nonbinary, and Gender-expansive scholars.

1. Declaration of June as Pride Month. Osseo Area School Board declares June as Pride Month and directs the Superintendent and all District staff to support policies, practices, and curricula that respect LGBTQIA+ students and their families in June and throughout the school year.

2. We re-commit to practices within the Osseo School District that protect and affirm our transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive scholars. This includes the full implementation of our Gender Inclusion Policy, support for Gender Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) and Queer Straight Alliances (QSAs) in our schools, professional development for all school staff, and gender-affirming curriculum and pedagogical practices.

3. Elevate the voices of LGBTQIA+ scholars and staff to help dismantle systemic barriers in our school district by establishing an LGBTQIA+ employee affinity group and establishing an LGBTQIA+ scholar/parent/caregiver/ally advisory group. This committee will advise our district administration and school board on structural barriers, inequities, and the lived experience of LGBTQIA+ scholars and their families.

4. Ensure there is adequate initial and ongoing support for the Assistant Superintendent of Equity and Achievement, and the Equity Department to implement an intersectional approach to systemic barriers to equity of all forms.

5. Require system leaders to measure disparities and track district performance to inform progress LGBTQIA+ disparities through policy, practice, and pedagogy.

6. Ensure that all facility design standards include increased privacy and greater student choice in restrooms and locker rooms.

7. Establish a full month before June during each academic year to observe LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Month because it is essential for our education system to teach the experiences, honor the history, and highlight the contributions of transgender, gender expansive and non-binary people; and

8. Provide resources for families/caregivers in the district to understand and talk with their scholars about LGBTQIA+ identities.

9. In recognition of LGBTQIA+ in June each calendar, the Osseo School Board invites the community to join in the celebration by raising the LGBTQIA+ Progress Pride flag on June 1st at all district buildings and in the school board room as a symbol of support to our LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and their families.

10. Report the progress of this resolution annually to the Osseo School Board during the month of June.

(1) 2016 State Grade 11 demographics

(2) 2019 State Grade 11 Demographics