Seattle Public Schools Celebrates Pride Month
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Summary: SPS supports the right of our students, staff, and families to be their authentic selves. We are dedicated to creating safe, inclusive environments!
Join us for the Seattle Pride
Please join us as we raise the LGBTQ+ Pride Flag on June 2 outside the JSCEE at 12:30 pm.
SPS supports the right of our students, staff, and families to be their authentic selves. We remain dedicated to creating safe, inclusive environments in which all our students can thrive. This month, we renew our commitment to celebrating the tremendous value and richness that our LGBTQ+ students, staff, and families bring to our community every day.
Pride Parade Sunday, June 25, 2023, 11 a.m.
Students, staff, and families are invited to join Seattle Public Schools in the June 25 PRIDE Parade. Those participating in the procession will meet prior to the parade’s start time to decorate posters and start staging on 4th Avenue.
At 11 a.m., the parade will begin its route north along 4th Avenue between Union and the Seattle Center, where the party will continue with family-friendly festivities that include music, booths, food, and fun!
Registration is not required; just show up.
For more information, visit the Seattle Pride website.
Seattle Public Schools to Join Community-wide LGBTQIA+ Celebration
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has participated in Seattle’s Pride Parade for more than 30 years.
“In the beginning, it was almost exclusively staff who marched in the parade,” said SPS Health Education Manager Lisa Love. “Now we have students, staff, families, and school board directors who participate!”
2022 Flag Raising at SPS Central Office John Stanford Center
The mood was jubilant as dozens of Seattle Public Schools senior leaders, board members, families, staff and students gathered on June 1 at the John Stanford Center to raise the rainbow flag in celebration of Pride Month.
Lisa Love, the manager of Health Education, gave the crowd a warm welcome and emphasized that while it is a time to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, the recent tragic events should remind us of those who are suffering.
“While we face these overwhelming realities, we continue to fight, care for one another, and do everything we can to make our homes, our schools, and our communities safe for our LGBTQ students, staff, and families,” Love said.
The beginning of the modern LGBTQ Movement began with The Stonewall riots. These were a series of demonstrations by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, N.Y. These uprisings were led predominantly by queer and trans women of color.
“The month of June is both about a riot and a celebration … a fight and a celebration,” said Love. “Queer and trans folks do this in their lives every day. I do this in my work every day. I fight on behalf of students who are harassed or made invisible. I also celebrate the progress and successes of young people, and of our school district.”
Students from around the district also joined the celebration. Decked out in a black baseball cap with “TRANS” across the front and a Pride flag waiving from the back, Alex Osborn, a fifth grader at Thornton Creek Elementary, shared about his personal journey as a trans student.
“Before I knew about other transgender people, I didn’t tell my family that I felt like a boy, and I didn’t live as my true self,” Osborn said. “But once I learned more about the whole community, I was able to live as my true self.”
Alex said it was then that he started wearing his hat. He started The Rainbow Club at school with a few friends for LGBTQ+ to find support and allies.
Cameron Page and Ireland Skoglund, two students from Cleveland High School, spoke about the progress SPS has made towards acknowledging LGBTQIA+ students.
“I am happy that Seattle Schools is raising our flag to not only show us representation but support in what we strive to achieve,” said Page, who is the vice president of Cleveland’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA).
Skoglund is the co-president of Cleveland’s Marsha P. Johnson Society. In partnership with GSA, the groups have been advocating for a co-ed swim team and gender-neutral bathrooms so students can feel more comfortable and safer in their environment.
“Pride Month is a scary time for some people, especially for people that aren’t out,” Skoglund said. “I’d like to take some time to remember people who can’t be as out and as proud as we are … we will continue fighting for you.”
Board resolution update
The district continues to make strides in fiercely affirming SPS’ commitment to LGBTQIA+ inclusion and identity safety in our district with guidance from School Board Resolution 2019/20-28.
Some of the work that has been completed since the 2021 update to the board regarding the resolution:
- Crafted messaging that affirms the rights of students and staff to be authentic selves and promoted positive images of LGBTQIA+ individuals
- Procured Progress Pride flags for schools and provided flag etiquette guidance to staff
- Trained registrars on how to help support LGBTQIA+ students as they request gender or name changes
- Offered age appropriate LGBTQIA+ inclusive instructional materials and books for elementary and secondary schools
- Provided LGBTQIA+ sensitivity training for staff and volunteers
- Collected data on the status of all-gender restrooms in each school and secured designs for newly built all-gender restrooms
We also are developing guidelines and standards for implementing improvements to restrooms and locker rooms to create/improve gender-inclusive restrooms that comply with applicable state and local plumbing fixture count requirements and other regulatory requirements.