Amid a marathon 12-hour meeting that commenced on Wednesday and extended well into the predawn hours of Thursday, the board overseeing Florida’s largest school district has once more rebuffed the LGBTQ History measure.
The measure failed in a 5-3 vote.
This latest development serves as a prominent indicator of the state’s rightward political trajectory, a shift spearheaded by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis along with fervent parental rights proponents who are steadfastly working to quell discussions about gender, identity, and historical narratives within the educational sphere, according to Local 10.
The sponsor of the proclamation, Lucia Baez-Geller, cast her vote in favor of the measure, aligning with supporters Luisa Santos and Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.
Those dissenting were: Roberto J. Alonso, Danny Espino, Mari Tere Rojas, Monica Colucci, and Mary Blanco. Their collective opposition proved instrumental in the measure’s ultimate rejection by the board.
Board member Steve Gallon, a figure within the board’s progressive faction, prematurely exited from the meeting before the voting began.
During a committee meeting last week, Baez-Geller, the sponsor of the LGBTQ History measure, emphasized its symbolic nature, likening it to other commemorative months such as Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month. This characterization underscores the intent to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQ community’s contributions and history within the broader context of acknowledging diverse cultural and historical narratives, she said.
“Because the LGBTQ exists in Miami-Dade, it’s made significant contributions to our country and county, and we have LGTBQ students; it does not impact or affect instructional materials, and I cannot believe I have to say this out loud, but this item does not indoctrinate our students into any sort of lifestyle,” Baez-Geller said.
“I deserve to be able to see myself represented in my school, just like anyone else,” said Finn Stewart, an 11th grader at Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School. “LGBTQ history is history, whether you want to accept it or not,” he said, according to WUSF.
“Our students are out there, and they’re visible and we can’t put them back in the shadows, unfortunately, like some people would like to,” said Baez-Geller.
Jim Thomas ✉
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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