Parents Want More Visibility, Support for Gay Families

Several gay parents and their supporters have asked the Huntington Board of Education to commit to more representation of LGBTQ+ content in curriculum and school celebrations.

James Rubin-Perez was one of five speakers at a recent school board hearing to urge more visibility and support of gay families in schools. He and his husband, Eric, have a daughter in the school district.

Specifically, he said, that through the state’s Dignity for All Students Act, the board should ensure that:

    • The district’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee address LGBTQ+ issues in all their inclusion efforts, including, but not limited to, positive representation of LGBTQ+ persons and families in curricula, books, and other media.
    • That the board of education advocate for the leadership in each school to include a message of support and celebration of gay pride month each June, as well as putting into place learning activities explicitly tied to gay pride month.
    • For the board of education’s support, if efforts are challenged, in publicly denouncing beliefs that conversations about all identities will predispose a child to adopt an identity or orientation other than their own.

School board president Xavier Palacios said in a statement, “Our primary goal as an educational institution is to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all students in our schools. The District cannot comment on student or personnel matters; however, we comply with applicable laws, policies, and regulations.”

“Everyone understands the importance of diversity,” Rubin-Perez said. “We’re hoping to have an open and honest dialgoue on how to be inclusive and to ensure the safety of students.”

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