It's only recently that I've begun to pay attention to school based LGBTQ issues, not only due to the media regarding bullying, murders, and suicides of queer kids in middle- and high-schools, but because of the tireless advocacy of the local GLSEN organization.
I have not yet done my research on all the candidates, and I am only aware of one person running for the CPS board -- Jason Haap, local activist, editor of the Cincinnati Beacon, and friend to this blog. Haap is hugely LGBTQ-friendly and has come to me on a couple of occasions with questions regarding the local community and how he, as a supporter, can be (well) more supportive. When he announced his campaign for school board, after stirring up a little trouble (as only he could :-)) by announcing a mayoral race, he sent me a message on how a curriculum could be more LGBTQ-friendly.
I checked out his website (via his Facebook group) a few days after that conversation, and this appears there:I think I just made myself a brand new goal for the 2009 elections: get all the school board electors to make strong anti-bullying statements in their platform. Do you think that's feasible? (Don't worry, GLSEN, you'll be hearing from me first :-).) I have made endorsements in past elections. I think, now that Cool Summer is over, I may spend my time on the 2009 local elections so that you, my dear readers, can have a better view of who is on our side and who is not.
Other elements, like anti-bullying efforts and recognitions of excellence, should be linked into the curriculum more particularly. Anti-bullying should not be reduced to random pull-out programs with guest speakers, but a district wide policy should make reporting and follow-up more user-friendly (such as accepting information via email, text, and so forth). Those students who do something spectacular should be recognized more regularly for acts of excellence, and the district should partner with the City of Cincinnati and area media to promote excellence as a strategy to improve the schools, the neighborhoods, and the City as a whole.
Can we make CPS a more LGBTQ-friendly space? Is it already? What are your experiences?