PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – A month of celebrating the history and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, created almost three decades ago, was rejected for the second year by Miami-Dade’s school board.
A marathon lineup of speakers took last week’s public hearing well past midnight.
Emotions were high, and in some cases, respect levels were low, prompting the board chair to demand decorum and the superintendent to draw a line.
“When I hear a comment that says we are scaring children and that we are increasing and contributing to mental health illness of our children, I cannot accept that,” said superintendent Jose Dotres.
Like last year, board members who voted against a pride month raised concerns that it could put the district or teachers in a position of violating the new state laws that put limits on sex and gender education.
Those supporting the history month drew distinctions between a celebration and actual curriculum.
The vote to reject was five to three with one absence, whose vote would not have changed the result.
The school board is a non-partisan entity, though there is important context - that new majority of five is comprised of the most conservative members of the board and all but one were elected or appointed in the last 13 months.
Board member Roberto Alonso, who was elected last month, joined This Week in South Florida host Glenna Milberg to discuss, and their conversation can be seen at the top of this page.