Join us for a joyful, peaceful gathering affirming inclusivity, belonging, and community at First Parish Church on Thursday, April 13 at 6 p.m.
The challenge to the Grade 4 & 5 Human Growth & Development curriculum making it inclusive of all genders has been withdrawn. The planned School Committee hearing on Thursday, April 13 in response to the challenge has been cancelled. The Grade 4 & 5 Human Growth & Development curriculum will remain inclusive of all genders.
We are overcome by the depth and breadth of the support that has been shown for all of the transgender and gender diverse students in our community, and for the teachers, staff and administrators who develop and champion inclusive curriculum.
Please join us on Thursday April 13 at 6 p.m. on the lawn at First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington, MA in Arlington Center for a joyful, peaceful gathering affirming inclusivity, belonging and community. All ages are welcome.
We have a very long way to go to ensure that LGBTQIA+ youth, and especially BIPOC LGBTQIA+ youth, are truly safe in our schools. The community connections that have been formed and strengthened over the past week will propel this work forward. It isn’t possible to list everyone who rallied to support our youth, but here are some examples:
- Nearly 300 of you pledged to attend the School Committee hearing to show support for our youth, and over 50 of you made plans to offer testimony.
- The Arlington Education Association alerted its members about the School Committee hearing and encouraged educators to attend. Numerous APS teachers and staff members planned to offer testimony in support of safe, inclusive learning environments for all students.
- Countless parents and caregivers dropped everything to ensure support of the curriculum by rallying their friends and family, and preparing testimony.
- Rainbow groups across the district helped spread the word and rally support: the APS LGBTQIA+ Leadership Task Force, the elementary school Rainbow Alliances, the middle school QSAs, the AHS GSA and the leaders of those groups who advocate for LGBTQIA+ students each and everyday.
- Over Easter weekend, First Parish of Arlington, St. John’s Episcopal Church, and Calvary United Methodist Church alerted congregants to the School Committee hearing and urged folks to support our youth.
- Leaders in town government including Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Jillian Harvey, and Chief of Police Julie Flaherty prepared to offer testimony in support of our youth.
The Human Rights Commission submitted testimony in support of safe, inclusive learning environments.
- The Diversity Task Group of Envision Arlington mobilized their members to turn out on Thursday in support of our youth.
- Staff from the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Commonwealth’s Commission on LGBTQ Youth planned to attend the hearing in support of our youth.
- Numerous community groups including the school-based Diversity and Inclusion groups, LexPride, Arlington Fights Racism, and many, many others helped to spread the word and mobilize support.
Thank you again to every one of you who read our emails, forwarded them to family and friends, posted to social media, and helped build support for our young people. Onward!