Happy Pride Month: ACPS Supports Our LGBTQIA+ Students
The Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) community joins the nation in celebrating the history and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) individuals during June and beyond.
“Pride Month affirms the rights of our LGBTQIA+ students and works to achieve equitable justice and opportunities for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community members. It is vital that ACPS celebrates Pride Month to ensure the recognition of each stakeholder's identity,” ACPS Mental Health Specialist Ursula Rocha stated.
The 6th Annual Alexandria Pride Month kickoff event was held at Market Square on June 3, 2023. It was a joyous time to learn about services in Alexandria and enjoy music and food. Members of the ACPS Department of Student Services and Equity staffed a table at the event, offering mental health resources and celebrating the ACPS LGBTQIA+ community.
“ACPS provides a safe space for LGBTQIA+ students,” Mental Health Specialist for Elementary Schools Erica Mack said. “In addition, ACPS’ nondiscrimination and Title IX policies include and recognize gender identity and gender expression as protected classes.” Most secondary schools have a Gender Sexuality Alliance club.
In marking Pride Month, we are reminded that LGBTQIA+ discrimination and violence can be addressed by speaking out. “We cannot afford to be bystanders; our responsibility is to stand behind, lift up, speak up and be true allies,” Rocha said. “Being a bystander in the face of discrimination and violence is dangerous, and it gives the perception that we are complicit in discriminatory behavior. Our community must continue to achieve equity by advocating for policies that protect LGBTQIA+ individuals from discrimination.”
The nation observes Pride Month in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, often considered the first major LGBTQIA+ demonstration in the U.S. It is a time to reflect on the progress made since 1969 while also continuing to advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights.
Resources available for LGBTQIA+ students include:
- Department of Student Services and Equity