DENVER (CBS4)– Thursday was the first opportunity for the new school board for Denver Public Schools to begin its new direction. The board, featuring a trio of union-backed candidates, started the meeting with several symbolic resolutions around LGBTQ+ equality, gun safety and teenagers gaining the right to vote.
“It is very clear that we are committed to love and we are committed to honoring our students and seeing our students for who they are,” said Director Jennifer Bacon.
Director Tay Anderson led all three of the resolutions on Thursday. The LGBTQIA+ resolution says every DPS facility must have a non-gender bathroom available for students and faculty. The resolution also expands the equality for all students and staff.
“District will continue to honor and respect a student’s self-reported gender identity and gender expression at school regardless of outside adult acknowledgement or acceptance; the District will work to support adults important to the child on greater acceptance and acknowledgement; however, the District will not wait for such adult acceptance or require parents’ or guardians’ consent before honoring the student’s self-reported gender identity and gender expression,” states the resolution.
Anderson says he’s hoping these resolutions will send a message to the rest of the state and country.
“We must act now,” said Rev. Brad Laurvick about a resolution supported by the advocacy group Mom’s Demand Action.
The DPS resolution encourages the superintendent to redesign district literature to place an emphasis on proper gun storage. Directors cited violence and high rates of teen suicide as some reasons why the district wanted to make recommendations to parents to take safely storing a gun more important.
“If we reach one percent of homes with this information, that’s a difference in 930 families,” Laurvick said.
The hours-long meeting continued late Thursday as many students and teachers addressed the board calling for more action and resources on campus.