Fairfax County School Board Recognizes LGBT History Month
The Fairfax County School Board recognized LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) History Month at its business meeting on October 8. The recognition follows:
According to the National PTA, "negative attitudes toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students puts them at an increased risk for violence and bullying. Negative attitudes also impact a student's ability to learn at school."
LGBT History Month is recognized in October nationwide and in FCPS to acknowledge and celebrate that LGBT students, staff, and families are an integral component of our nation, and of Fairfax County Public Schools.
This special month was first recognized in 1994; October was chosen to commemorate National Coming Out Day on October 14, and the First March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights on October 14, 1979.
One of the first Gay-Straight Alliances in Virginia was founded at Hayfield High School in 2000, and now students are involved in clubs at many of the high schools in the county, welcoming not only LGBT students but their friends and those interested in creating safe schools.
More than a dozen Fairfax County schools have active Gender and Sexuality Alliances or Gay Straight Alliances through which students are able to network, socialize, and educate their communities about inclusion of the LGBTQ community in our schools. Students do this through forums, posters, announcements, and activities such as ally week. The existence of GSAs is an asset to our schools. Educational research indicates that schools which have GSAs have better mental health outcomes for all students. The equity liaisons in our schools also help to make our schools more welcoming for all students and staff.
In addition to student clubs, Fairfax County Public Schools boasts an organization for LGBTQ employees, parents of LGBTQ students, and LGBTQ family members. FCPS Pride holds monthly coffee houses and an annual picnic for the community and supports activities such as holiday celebrations and the LGBTQ prom.
LGBT History Month in October is an opportunity for Fairfax County Public Schools staff and students to celebrate, and to learn more about, these important constituents in our schools and neighborhoods.