A group came to the Board of Education meeting this month, asking that Jeffco revisit our employee policies to ensure support for LGBTQ+ staff members. You can read more on that here.
In response to the reporter’s question on this matter, I had this to say, “Jeffco public schools wishes to be an inclusive place for students and staff, so we take very seriously the things that were raised, and we do feel that we have inclusive, welcoming policies for students and staff, but we’re interested in hearing where those may not be sufficient.”
I also made a statement to the Board of Education at the meeting, acknowledging June as Pride month. You can read that below.
June is LGBTQ+ pride month and I want to take a moment during my update, Mr. President, to express our support for Jeffco’s LGBTQ+ community and especially our students and employees.
Jeffco Public Schools is recognized as having one the strongest school district policies that supports LGBTQ+ students. We are proud of that accomplishment. As you are probably aware, this policy is the result of a collaborative process with Jeffco schools and several community partners, students and staff. We have taken intentional actions to foster an educational environment that is safe and free from discrimination for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Our policy and actions are improved regularly. Four years ago, our Student Engagement Office, with support from our Legal Services team, worked with our LGBTQ+ students to update this policy as well as our numerous support materials which continue to be recognized by our LGBTQ+ community partners both locally and nationally as model resources.
But a policy and written support materials by themselves are not enough. Our district has continued to work diligently to implement these policies in a way that provides a safe learning and working environment to treat with respect and dignity all members of our community.
We recognize that many of our actions have focused on students and now additional focus is needed to address the needs of our LGBTQ+ staff.
We have started a new strand of efforts this year through a LGBTQ+ Staff Support Work Group. This Group has been working over the past year on understanding the scope of the issue and talking about potential actions to address these lapses. We are currently collecting more input from employees through a Staff Inclusivity Survey. Once the Work Group has reviewed the results of this survey, they plan to move forward with possible changes and initiatives based.
Jeffco Public Schools, as a public entity, has a moral responsibility to serve all students, all families, and the entire community. Out of this moral responsibility, I want to again express, on behalf of Jeffco Public Schools, our support for the LGBTQ+ community, within Jeffco and beyond.