by Evan Stambaugh
A school board in the Twin Cities area has passed a resolution forcing the district to go all-in on “policies, practices, and curricula” that “protect and affirm” the “LGBTQIA+” agenda.
At its meeting Tuesday evening, the Osseo Area School District Board of Education voted 4-2 in favor of its resolution 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.”
Several community members and parents showed up at the board meeting to voice their concerns.
“Here we are tonight with a resolution about to be presented that involves bringing new curriculum and content into classrooms without going into the details of what the curriculum and content will contain,” said one parent who was concerned about the board’s lack of transparency.
Others spoke passionately in support of the resolution, criticizing their opponents for using the “God argument.”
“Suicide rates among trans children are astronomical, and it’s because of the people who stand up here and use the Bible and use God as a weapon,” one speaker said. “Anybody looking to oppose this, anybody who’s going to vote against it, you should be ashamed. I have one word: resign.”
The document, titled “LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Resolution,” lists numerous action items for the superintendent and district staff to follow, which include but are not limited to:
- Official recognition of June as “Pride Month.”
- Dedication of a month other than June to celebrate “LGBTQIA+ History and Culture Month.”
- Allowance of “greater student choice” in which restrooms and locker rooms they use.
- Support for “gender-affirming curriculum and pedagogical practices.”
- Establishment of “advisory” and “affinity” groups addressing “structural barriers, inequities, and the lived experience of LGBTQIA+ scholars and their families.”
- Tracking “district performance” and “progress” on these matters and reporting on them before the school board every June.
- Flying the “LGBTQIA+ Progress Pride flag” on June 1 “at all district buildings and in the school board room as a symbol of support to our LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and their families.”
In justifying these various measures, the school board cited its own policies and strategic goals and even Minnesota’s Human Rights Act, all of which prohibit “discrimination” based on sexual orientation and “gender identity.”
Osseo Area Schools, located in Hennepin County, claims to be the state of Minnesota’s fifth-largest school district. According to the resolution, 20% of the district’s students “identify as LGBTQIA+” and nearly 3% report themselves to be “transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive.”
“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,’” the resolution says.
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Evan Stambaugh is a freelance writer who had previously been a sports blogger. He has a BA in theology and an MA in philosophy.
Photo “Osseo Area Schools Board Meeting” by Osseo Area Schools.