Chicago Public Schools Joins the Citywide Celebration of the LGBTQ+ Community During Pride Month
02 June 2022
District supports inclusive learning environments that affirm the identities of LGBTQ+ students and staff
CHICAGO - Chicago Public Schools (CPS) joins agencies and organizations across the city in celebrating Pride Month in support of the District’s staff and students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. From the school-level Pride parades and pop-up events, the District and its schools will celebrate Pride Month, reflecting a year-round approach to providing a supportive and inclusive environment across all schools and sites.
“It is important that our LGBTQ+ students and their families, as well as our staff, feel supported and accepted,” said CEO Pedro Martinez. “CPS has a zero tolerance for discrimination; we encourage inclusive and supportive school climates where our colleagues and students can thrive as they teach and learn.”
The District incorporates a number of strategies which can be used to enhance school climate and make schools safer and more welcoming to LGBTQ+ students. In preparation of Pride Month, the Office of Student Health and Wellness (OSHW) created guidance (Spanish version here) to incorporate LGBTQ+ history into the classroom, book lists that support welcoming classroom communities, and suggestions to celebrate Pride Month at CPS schools. CPS staff receive an annual training on supporting transgender, nonbinary and gender nonconforming students and staff. The District also hosts an annual District-wide Gender & Sexuality Alliance Summit for GSA clubs across the city to come together for a day of education, support, and activism.
For the first time, CPS’ OSHW and Office of Student Protections and Title IX will sponsor a float in the city’s Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26. Participants will include LGBTQ+ staff and allies and student leaders from Gender & Sexuality Alliances (GSA) across the District as well as participants from the Civil Rights Summer Fellowship.
Some CPS schools have already begun their Pride celebrations with their own parades, activities, banners, and events. Students at Alexander Graham Bell School purchased Pride t-shirts and each classroom will walk with a banner that captures their idea of the concept of Pride. Waters Elementary School students will be flooding their halls with rainbows and flags, Disney II Magnet Elementary School will celebrate throughout their hallways with fun giveaways and a photo booth, and many others will be hosting their own Pride activities.
CPS also participates in the national campaign called OUT for Safe Schools which helps educators, administrators, and other school district employees ‘come out’ as visible allies for LGBTQ+ students and staff. As part of the campaign, participating staff wear badges identifying themselves as allies in order to make school a safer, more welcoming place.
LGBTQ+ Pride Month began in the early 1970’s in the aftermath of New York City’s 1969 Stonewall Riots. CPS participation in Pride Month reflects the District’s continued efforts to foster inclusive, supportive school climates, and to address all dimensions of student health and wellness – thereby fostering a Healthy CPS, for LGBTQ+ and all students and staff.
For more information about the national campaign, visit our website with more information on the LGBTQ+ Supportive Environments webpage.