- Mar 15, 2023
Equity Leaders Speak Out at Burlington School Committee Meeting Following Pride Disruption
Equity leaders spoke out at a Burlington School Committee meeting Tuesday night following a recent disruption of a Pride event by students at the town's middle school. The event, which students at Marshall Simonds Middle School organized, was intended to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. However, some students disrupted the event by chanting homophobic slurs and tearing down rainbow decorations.
The disruption of the Pride event has sparked outrage in the Burlington community. Many people have expressed concern about the level of intolerance and homophobia in the town. Equity leaders spoke out at the School Committee meeting to demand that the district do more to address these issues.
"We are here tonight to say that we will not tolerate intolerance and homophobia in our schools," said Nancy Bonassera, the Burlington Equity Coalition co-chair. "We demand that the district take immediate action to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students."
The School Committee has not yet responded to the demands of the equity leaders. However, Superintendent John Hardy said the district is committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all students.
"We are deeply saddened by the events of last week," said Hardy. "We want to assure all of our students that we are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for all."
The disruption of the Pride event is just the latest in a series of incidents that have raised concerns about the level of intolerance in Burlington. In recent months, there have been reports of students being harassed and bullied for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The equity leaders who spoke at the School Committee meeting called on the district to take many steps to address these issues. They called for the district to:
- Hire a full-time diversity, equity, and inclusion coordinator
- Implement comprehensive anti-bullying and harassment policies
- Provide training for all staff on LGBTQ+ issues
- Create a more inclusive curriculum that reflects the diversity of the community
"We need to send a clear message to our students that they are loved and supported," said Bonassera. "We need to create a community where everyone feels safe and welcome."
The disruption of the Pride event has sparked a much-needed conversation about Burlington's intolerance level. The equity leaders who spoke at the School Committee meeting are calling on the district and the community to take action to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all students.