A Statement to Honor Juneteenth, Pride Month, and the Start of Summer

This month, as we celebrate and affirm the rich diversity of our school communities, we are saddened by the fact that our nation’s public schools are increasingly in the headlines, not for the life affirming work of education, but because of the specter of book bans and an increase in ideologically driven attacks on teachers, staff, board members, and students themselves. In response to such things, we can think of nothing better than to celebrate all that June brings with the start of summer break, the Juneteenth holiday, and the celebration of Pride. We want to make it clear that the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District stands firmly in our commitment to equity, inclusion, and the affirmation of all members of our diverse community. We stand with all those who believe that every student, every employee, and every family deserves to be treated with dignity, kindness, and respect, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or background. The rich diversity of our community is something to be celebrated.

In honor of Pride Month, we celebrate the valuable contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. LMSV strives to create a safe and affirming space where every student feels welcomed, supported, and empowered to be their authentic self. Our commitment to promoting inclusivity extends beyond the month of June, as we work to ensure that all students are embraced and celebrated for their unique identities. With our LGBTQ+ students and staff members, we stand against all forms of sexist, homophobic, and transphobic discrimination and ideologies.

In honor of Juneteenth, a district and national holiday dedicated to the celebration of freedom in commemoration of the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans, we are reminded of the importance of confronting systemic racism and work towards a more just and equitable society and educational system. We embrace the opportunity to educate our students about the history, struggles, and achievements of Black Americans. We stand against the systemic racism, xenophobia, and discrimination that has resulted in centuries of oppression and marginalization.

Finally, we reaffirm our support for each and every student, employee, and community member who calls LMSV home. All children deserve to be loved and affirmed for who they are, as they are. We are committed to a vision of inclusion, empathy, and kindness that celebrates and affirms the richness of the human experience and the incomparable worth of each and every child and member of our wonderfully diverse LMSV community.

For more information, visit these great resources:
Supporting LGBTQIA+ Students (SDCOE)
Support for Trans Youth and Families (TransFamily SOS)
Celebrating Juneteen (Teach for America)
Juneteenth Online Exhibition (Smithsonian)

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