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    2019 Pride Flag Raising Ceremony
    Posted on 06/03/2019
    A group gathers for the flag raising ceremony. Each is holding a smaller hand-held pride flag.

    2019 Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

    On the morning of May 31, Seattle Public Schools senior leaders, board members, families, staff, and students raised the LGBTQ pride flag and the transgender pride flags outside of the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence to mark the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month.

    Superintendent Denise Juneau, School Board Director Zachary DeWolf, and Jared, a Nathan Hale High School student speaker and chief leader of Nathan Hale Pride Club, welcomed the crowd and shared their stories. They spoke about the importance of LGBTQ pride and visibility, and the positive impact that has on our staff, families, and most importantly, our students. They also highlighted the work that still needs to be done in making our schools and district fully LGBTQ-inclusive, including expanded curriculum for our LGBTQ and gender non-binary students, as well as the increase in the number of gender-neutral bathrooms in our schools.

    “We are literally the first place in the city to celebrate Pride Month,” said Director DeWolf. “I’m really proud to be at a district where we are absolutely excited about, affirm, recognize, elevate, and tell our LGBTQ students, staff, and families that they’re seen here and that they’re visible.”

    Jared closed the event by saying, “Let the flags that we raise today not be a stand-alone event, but a call to action. This event is no final chapter. It is not a destination, but a single step among many. So, I ask you to let it serve as a motivation for you to bring back to your local schools and work places this Pride Month. I ask you to ask these questions: “Why are your bathrooms not gender inclusive?” “Why do your classroom curricula and workplace mantras not feature LBGTQ+ topics and individuals?” “Why does the amount of LGBTQ+ individuals among your faculty and staff not directly mirror the percentage of our population that identifies as such?” and most importantly, “What can we do to change this?””

    This flag raising event honors and celebrates the district’s commitment to creating welcoming environments in every classroom, school, and throughout central office to support student learning. The flags will be flown during the month of June as a visible symbol of our commitment.

    Later in the month, on June 30, look for Seattle Public Schools students, staff, and families marching alongside a big yellow school bus in the annual Seattle Pride Parade! Seattle Public Schools wants to extend a special thank you to our own manager of Health Education, Lisa Love, and her team for coordinating pride events all month long. Read more about our participation in the Seattle Pride Parade.