Florida school board recognizes LGBT History Month

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The Broward County, Fla., School Board has unanimously voted to recognize October as LGBT History Month.

The vote was this week and followed comments from officeholders and citizens, including the captain of a high school football team, 18-year-old Leo Washington, who offered an emotional defense of the program.

The South Florida Gay News reported that Washington told the board, “I’m 18 and African-American. All we want is to recognize them for who they are so we can recognize ourselves for who we are. That’s what I want for every student in every school.”

He told school officials that he knows about 30 students who are afraid to come out as LGBT – at school and at home, according to SFGN.

The resolution approved by the board does not require teachers to follow a certain curriculum or even require them to teach students about LGBT history. Instead, the board is recognizing history month and offering support for teachers who want to create a curriculum.

The resolution honors gay Missouri teacher Rodney Wilson for starting LGBT History Month in 1994, recognizes the “immeasurable contributions of LGBT Americans,” notes a general climate of harassment of LGBT students, affirms the district’s commitment to promote educational equity and encourages “administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students” to take part in LGBT History Month “in any way that is most positive and uplifting to their schools and communities.”

For more about LGBT History Month, including participating in events, go to http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com.