Miami-Dade School Board to decide whether to recognize LGBTQ history month

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – On Wednesday, the Miami-Dade School Board will vote on whether it should recognize October as LGBTQ History Month, something it has done in the past.

LGBTQ advocacy groups are showing support for the school board’s measure.

Miami-Dade School Board member and former teacher Lucia Baez-Geller is sponsoring the agenda item and told Local 10, “I know it meant a lot for the LGBTQ community that we approved this last year.”

Baez-Geller is calling for Miami-Dade schools to recognize October as LGBTQ History Month, the same way they recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Austim month and others.

Baez-Geller is also asking Superintendent Jose Dotres “ explore the feasibility of ensuring that Miami-Dade County Public Schools has information and resources available for teaching landmark supreme court cases for 12th-grade social studies teachers, including Obergefell v. Hodges,” said Baez-Geller.

“We’re just asking MDCPS to have resources ready for those teachers who will choose to use the same sex marriage equality act as one of their examples in 12th grade,” Baez-Geller said.

Conservative group, Moms for Liberty, asked parents in an Instagram post to help protect the children against a “grooming agenda” by opposing the item.

The term “grooming,” typically reserved to describe the behavior of pedophiles, “underscores a nationwide push by conservatives to make education a political wedge issue by equating certain teaching materials and educators with pornography and even pedophilia,” the Associated Press reported in March.

Moms for Liberty Miami-Dade Chapter Chair Laly Jimenez-Hincapie says, “What is the purpose of LGBTQ history month? It is to indoctrinate the children-- It is to confuse the children.”

Jimenez-Hincapie says they’re not anti-gay, but they’re trying to protect parental rights.

“There is too much misinformation and divisive rhetoric out there driven by a small vocal minority,” said Baez-Geller.

And it originated from Tallahassee and the Governor, she adds.

“It’s a real shame and disservice to our youth and our community to be promoting hate, discrimination, and divisiveness anywhere, not just in our schools,” said Baez-Geller.

Local 10 spoke with Dr. Daniel Bober, a psychiatrist, and when asked, “Is discussing sexual orientation and gender identity more likely to sway kids? “the answer is no,” says Bober.

“Simply discussing it doesn’t turn you gay,” Bober said. “This is about acceptance, compassion, and education.”

“We shouldn’t turn this into something that is political. this is about people’s mental health and this is about giving guidance,” he said.

About the Authors:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. 

Ryan Mackey is our newest digital journalist at WPLG. He is New York born and South Florida raised.