Durham Public Schools Board of Education LGBTQIA+ Task Force

  • Overview

    Purpose

    The Durham Public Schools Board of Education LGBTQIA+ Task Force will focus on strengthening and further developing the LGBTQIA+ and Gender Supports Policy (1735/4035/7235) that was adopted on December 8, 2022, and revised on January 12, 2023.

    From the policy introduction:

    It is the policy of the board to maintain a safe and supportive school environment for LGBTQIA+ individuals, meaning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual and other individuals with non-heterosexual, non-binary, and gender non-conforming identities.

    Membership

    Members of the Task Force are appointed by the school board and administration under guidance set by the school board. Membership is by invitation to meet the stated purpose of the Task Force.

    Board Vice Chair Emily Chávez will serve as liaison to the Task Force.

    Meeting Format and Schedule

    The Task Force will generally meet as a full body once per month in person, tentatively scheduled for the third Tuesday of each month (in order to avoid weeks when there is a work session or monthly meeting of the school board). An independent facilitator will lead the meetings. The meeting dates are as follows:

    August 15, 2023

    September 19, 2023

    October 17, 2023

    November 21, 2023  (Cancelled)

    December 19, 2023

    February 20, 2024 (Cancelled)

    March 19, 2024

    April 16, 2024

    June 18, 2024

     

    Topics and Responsibilities of the Task Force

    While specific roles and functions for the Task Force will be developed with input from the members themselves, the school board has established the Task Force to provide advice on strengthening the existing LGBTQIA+ and Gender Supports policy and suggesting improvements in district and school processes and procedures.

    By state law, the Durham Public Schools Board of Education is responsible for local policy and governance, while the superintendent and his leadership team are responsible for administration and operation of the district. The Task Force will serve as an advisory body to both.

    More specifically, the Task Force may address policy development and administrative support in the following areas:

    • Identifying available resources and suggesting strategies and tactics for curriculum

    • Recommending opportunities and prioritized topics for professional development and staff training

    • Sharing logistical considerations and experiences regarding subjects such as family/student/school relationships, bathroom use and accessibility, and other policy implementation topics

    The Task Force will also be a learning organization, with members providing each other with the wisdom of their experiences and exchanging information with district leaders. For example:

    • Teambuilding to promote intersectionality, awareness, and inclusion

    • Providing feedback on information shared by the administration regarding opportunities and constraints in implementing aspects of the LGBTQIA+ and Gender Supports Policy

    • Hearing and responding to updates on the impact of state and federal legislation, regulations, and court rulings upon Durham Public Schools