Leon County Schools set to approve new LGBTQ+ advisory committee

Leon County School board members are now working without pay, after the state ruled the...
Leon County School board members are now working without pay, after the state ruled the district’s new COVID policies still violate the law.(WCTV)
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 11:24 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Leon County School Board is set to create an advisory committee at its Tuesday meeting to craft a new LGBTQ+ support guide for school personnel.

It comes after a federal lawsuit filed last fall claimed the district’s LGBTQ+ policies illegally exclude parents from gender identity discussions. The parents who filed the lawsuit contend the school district’s “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Gender Nonconforming and Questioning Support Guide” expressly advises teachers and staff not to report gender identity discussions to parents.

The 15-person advisory committee will be made up of students, parents, teachers and administrators, including Assistant Superintendents Alan Cox and Michelle Gayle, according to the agenda for Tuesday’s school board meeting.

At the last school board meeting, Superintendent Rocky Hanna said the guide crafted by the committee will protect students, while also abiding by Florida’s Parental Bill of Rights, which took effect July 1, 2021.

“I’m excited about this group, they will come together and look at the guide we have in place, they’ll look at the Florida Parental Bill of Rights, and I think we’ll craft something that everyone in this community will be satisfied with,” Hanna said at the Jan. 25 meeting.

Here are the proposed members of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Committee, as listed in the school board meeting agenda:

  • Dr. Alan Cox, Assistant Superintendent of School Management
  • Tonja Fitzgerald, Director of Mental Health and Social-Emotional Learning Programs
  • Kim Scott – Director of Student Services (Guidance, School Psychologists and Social Workers)
  • Wallace Knight – Coordinator of Equity and Title IX Compliance
  • Sharon Kerwin – Parent
  • Chris Sands – Parent
  • Sharon Lettman – Parent
  • Evan Marty – Student District Advisory Council Chairperson
  • Connor McCord – Leon County School Board Student Representative
  • David Rudenborg – Teacher
  • Roosevelt Sea – Teacher
  • Anicia Robinson – Administrator
  • Jessica Chapman – Administrator
  • Jenni Jenkins – Behavior Program Specialist
  • Dr. Michelle Gayle, Assistant Superintendent, Professional and Community Services

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