Statement to Honor Juneteenth and Pride Month

As we enter the month of June, we would like to take a moment to recognize two important observances that highlight our collective commitment to equity, love, and human dignity: Juneteenth and Pride Month.

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th each year, is a District and national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in our nation. Juneteenth is both a day of celebration and a poignant reminder that systemic racism is something our world continues to grapple with. As a school district, we recognize the importance of educating our students about the oppression of marginalized people in our nation’s history and the ongoing struggle for freedom and equality, and we continue to stand against all ideologies of hate and discrimination.

Every June, Pride Month is nationally recognized as a time to celebrate the contributions and history of the LGBTQ+ community. This month also serves as a vital reminder that many in our community are engaged in a very personal struggle to be valued and accepted to live openly and authentically. Recent data from the 2024 National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People brings the reality of this struggle to light. The data reveals that LGBTQ+ youth are experiencing increasing rates of depression, anxiety, bullying, and discrimination, and they are more likely to consider and attempt suicide. The survey demonstrates that these rates increase in communities where the topics of identity and sexuality have been depersonalized and used for divisive and political means (which has greatly increased in recent years).

Thankfully, the National Survey also points to the fact that the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth is profoundly and positively impacted when they receive support from their schools and their communities. In fact, we know that all children thrive in loving, safe, and supportive environments where diversity and individuality are valued and not diminished, which is something we are striving for.

As we celebrate the end of another school year, our belief in the immeasurable worth of each and every child and our commitment to equity and inclusion for the sake of all children is unwavering. Together, let us strive to build safe and supportive learning communities free of discrimination, where children can be their true and authentic selves and where each and every student can truly thrive.

From the LMSV Board of Trustees and leadership team, Happy Juneteenth and Happy Pride!

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