Letter to the Editor: In support of our LGBTQ+ neighbors, family, friends, community

Emily Mulica

Fear and misunderstanding have frothed up some local parents — small in numbers but large in their conviction. Let us please put away metaphorical pitchforks and dangerous falsehoods that teachers will now replace reading lessons with sales pitches to change from Sally to John. The reality is far more reasonable, loving, and age appropriate.

The scary boogyman is a resolution put forth from the school board to support a current statewide initiative of representation to include kindergarten to third graders. In addition to supporting the statewide inclusion efforts, a group of LGBTQ+ students came to the school board in September 2022 communicating they feel unsafe and unwelcome. The resolution that followed outlines how our schools can provide the best learning atmosphere possible for all students.

For too many years, marginalized people have lived in fear, experiencing daily threats and exclusion. Shift the looking lens, ask yourself how you can help a group of children that experiences higher numbers of self harm, bullying, and — in a parent’s worst nightmare — suicide, or grave physical harm from others.

The desire to feel safe and included is everyone’s right. Human identities are never controversial. As adolescents navigate the connections between their heads and hearts, choosing a path true to them should be done in an environment free of bigotry and bias. What this looks like at the K-3 level is merely adding some high quality books that includes two dads or two moms. Once upon a time it was controversial to have a children’s book depicting interracial couples.

What we need is a closing of the empathy gap.

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