CHICAGO (December 17, 2015) – Today, in response to the decision by Elmhurst School District 205 Superintendent David Moyer to pull the morning announcement from the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club at York Community High School, Illinois Safe School Alliance’s (the Alliance) Executive Director, Anthony Papini released the following statement:
“The Alliance is sadden to hear that students from the GSA at York Community High School were not allowed to read their morning announcements, which were intended to inform and educate their peers on the harsh treatment and influence of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) throughout history. The Alliance firmly believe that in order for students to reach their fullest potential, they must feel safe, welcomed and respected. This decision made by the superintendent is a clear indication that our schools are not there yet.”
It is crucial for all students to feel included in their schools. Offering curriculum that is inclusive is essential. Telling stories about individuals such as James Baldwin, Sally Ride, Bayard Rustin, and Jane Addams, whose sexuality is rarely mentioned when it comes to their contribution to this country, give students a sense of pride and historical figures with whom they can identify.
Illinois Safe School Alliance is proud of our partnerships with Gay Straight Alliance’s throughout the state of Illinois. We continue to provide opportunities for students to convene and learn about social justice, equity, and inclusion. It is our goal to inspire students to advocate for their rights in schools. In addition to supporting students we also provide professional development to administrators, teachers, and staff in schools to ensure that schools have the proper resources to support LGBTQ students.