In honor of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan, which served as a tipping point in the Gay Liberation Movement, Pride Month is celebrated every June in the U.S. The monthlong celebration supports the LGBTQ+ community and helps spread awareness of the contributions of LGBTQ+ Americans to our society. Pride Month provides local educational agencies an opportunity to celebrate and support their LGBTQ+ students, and to evaluate how it is meeting their needs.
There are many examples of LEAs throughout the state celebrating Pride Month — in this roundup, CSBA has collected just a few highlights:
Students in Mill Valley SD in the Bay Area led an effort to fly Progress Pride flags — which include a chevron of colors that represent marginalized LGBTQ+ communities of color — at all of the K-8 district’s schools, with a larger celebration at Mill Valley Middle School. The school’s Gay–Straight Alliance has grown year over year and contributed to a more accepting and open culture at the school, as illustrated in this video.
Mill Valley SD Board President Emily Uhlhorn recognizes and applauds the initiative of district students.
“We’re incredibly proud of the students in our Middle School GSA Club who advocated for flying the Progress Pride Flag as well as for celebrating Pride Month in other ways on campus this year,” she said. “Their voices reached County Superintendent Mary Jane Burke and Dr. Tom Peters from the Marin Community Foundation, who sponsored flags for any Marin school that requested one. We know that our countywide partners share our focus on creating school environments where student voice is encouraged and where students feel empowered for standing up for what is right and just. We are honored to lift up their voices and the voices of so many by proudly flying the flag.”
The Napa County Office of Education passed a resolution proclaiming June 2021 LBGTQ+ Pride Month and flies the Pride flag at all of its sites. It kicked off Pride with a flag raising ceremony on June 4. The COE is also providing staff professional development around working with LGBTQ+ youth and is working on a curriculum for students.
Speaking at the Pride flag raising celebration, Napa COE Trustee Gerald Parrott said, “When I attended school we didn’t have a gay–straight alliance, we didn’t have Pride flags waving and there was no support system or protection in place for us. Standing in front of you today, where our Pride flag will soon be raised, proves that love and positivity always wins, and hate does not.”
In addition to passing a resolution proclaiming June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, Glendale USD, trustees and the superintendent announced the month’s designation and reaffirmed their support for LGBTQ+ students in a video.
“We encourage all district teachers and staff to support lessons and activities that engage students in meaningful learning about the accomplishments of our LGBTQ+ community,” said Trustee Jennifer Freemon. “Our schools will continue to be safe spaces where every child can learn and thrive.”
The Mt. Diablo USD Board of Education passed its second resolution declaring June as Pride Month. The Pride flag now flies at district headquarters and at many of the district’s schools. The Pride resolution goes beyond words to highlight actual board policies that govern transgender rights, proper use of pronouns and staff training on these topics. MDUSD is also partnering with the Claycord PFLAG and Rainbow Community Center to provide support and training to students and staff. Going forward, the district hopes to acquire a Progress PRIDE flag for the district, and to ensure every school has a Pride flag to fly by next June.
Other districts that have passed resolutions, flown Pride flags or provided timely information in June on their websites include:* Albany USD, Cabrillo USD, Elk Grove USD, Fremont USD, Hayward USD, Los Angeles USD, Moreno Valley USD, Natomas USD, Oakland USD, Oceanside USD, Pajaro Valley USD, Pleasanton USD, San Diego USD, San Francisco USD, San Mateo COE, and Santa Cruz COE.
*Please note this is not an exhaustive list, but a sampling. If your district has celebrated Pride Month in some way, please share with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.