The student-led group asked the School Committee to formally recognize national LGBTQ month in the district of Framingham and send a message that hate and bullying will not be tolerated, but instead embrace all students, faculty and community regardless of the color of their skin, race, culture, religious affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Faculty advisor Cynthia Villanueva said the group is dedicated to "creating safer school for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth at Framingham High School."
Framingham High Gay Straight Alliance President Krysta Motter told the School Committee by creating LGBT History Month in the Framingham High School curriculum it would support the school district's core belief of "human differences are to be respected."
Motter said LGBT students need role models and someone to look up to
"Having LGBT History Month as part of the curriculum could offer potential role models for students."
She cited the example of the "pink triangles during World War II."
Motter said formal recognition of the month in which the "LGBT community is in the spotlight" would give "students a sense of security and belonging."
School Committee member Carol Phalen said she was honored to be an elected official in a town where students bring issues like this front and center.
"I wholeheartedly vote yes on this. Thanks you for bring the issue to us," she told the students.
School Committee Chair Beverly Hugo said the vote was symbolic as the School Committee sets policy and does not decide what is taught in the classrooms.
Scott said he was "excited to see students advocating for what is good and right."
Scott said the School Committee’s vote authorized administration to protect all students in the school and for "faculty to pursue ways to enhance the curriculum to add support and awareness."
California was first state to require schools to teach LGBT history, said one of the students during the meeting.
It was suggested LGBT authors and scientists could be introduced into the curriculum during the month of October.
Framingham High Principal Mike Welch said he was proud of the work "very active" Gay-Straight Alliance has done at the high school. They have set up a "safe and supportive environment for all kids."
During the month of October, the Gay Straight Alliance of Framingham High School will urge students, teachers and staff to sign a pledge.
The pledge states:
I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported.
That means I pledge to:
- Not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) language or slurs.
- Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed.
- Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.
Framingham High student representative to the School Committee Jordan Cline suggested that the Gay Straight Alliance present examples of LGBTQ history during the month of October on the morning broadcast of Flyer News.