Sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination/harassment is an issue that warrants the vigilant consideration and care of every school district. A school board that recognizes these groups as potential targets for discriminatory behavior can work to combat an unhealthy learning environment and work to promote a safer setting to foster the academic and social developments of the next generation.
Many studies have shown that discrimination, harassment, bullying, intimidation and violence upon youth at school has contributed to high rates of absenteeism, dropout, adverse health consequences, and academic underachievement especially among those that do not identify as heterosexual or cisgender.
The district’s duty is to address this issue from a standpoint of ensuring safety and fairness for all, whilst promoting a proactive academic environment that provides students with an adequate rigorous curriculum to advance the county’s youth to a position that will help them compete on a global scale.
Anti-discrimination policies are an integral part to the mental, physical, and emotional safety of students, faculty, and staff to ensure there is an environment that supports youth and their instructors instead of stifling their emotions that do not affect the quality of education for anybody.
Engaging the school board in a proactive manner is important as it forces the individuals in power to justify their reasoning for making policy decisions that affect the masses. This petition is a direct challenge to your judgment in regard to discrimination against any public school student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in the public school system of Saint Lucie County Florida. Your decision as leaders should reflect what is best for the leaders of tomorrow, ensuring there is ample protection in the eyes of government to guarantee rights in compliance with federal and state legislation.
Just know, when you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Specifically allowing harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation shows that you are not proactive in your steps to ensure a safe environment for all. Please add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list illustrated here: http://www.stlucie.k12.fl.us/policies/
Set the standard for what is not tolerated in your public schools.