Study possible parcel tax. Check. Extend superintendent’s contract. Check. Oppose gay-marriage ban. Wait. What!?
San Leandro school board members are considering a resolution against the controversial Proposition 8, which if passed by voters in November would essentially ban gay marriage in California.
The resolution was proposed by trustee Stephen Cassidy, which sparked up a lively discussion among board members during their last meeting.
More about the possible resolution in this weekend’s edition of The Daily Review.
For now, what are your thoughts on school boards getting into issues that seemingly have no direct impact on public education?
View a draft of the possible resolution.
Remember this is just a draft that is up for consideration. Trustees have yet to take any action on the possible resolution.
SAN LEANDRO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
San Leandro, California
Resolution No. 08-__
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE SAN LEANDRO UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT IN OPPOSITION TO PROPOSITION 8
WHEREAS, in May 2008 in In re Marriage Cases, the California Supreme Court determined that two adults who share a loving relationship may join together to establish an officially recognized family of their own – and, if the couple chooses, to raise children with that family – constitutes a vitally important attribute of the fundamental interest in liberty and personal autonomy that the California Constitution secures to all persons for the benefit of both the individual and society; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court further held that state statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court’s decision in In re Marriage Cases, was based, in part, on the landmark case of Perez v. Sharp in which the Court 60 years earlier held that California’s statutory provisions prohibiting interracial marriages were inconsistent with the fundamental constitutional right to marry; and
WHEREAS, the California Supreme Court found that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples “will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples;” and
WHEREAS, because gay and lesbian individuals have historically faced widespread disparagement and discrimination, the California Supreme Court found that “it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples;” and
WHEREAS, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students continue to face discrimination in California schools with nearly 10 percent of California 7th and 9th grade students in the latest California Healthy Kids Survey reporting having been harassed or bullied at school for being gay or lesbian, or perceived as being gay or lesbian; and
WHEREAS, in the latest California Healthy Kids Survey for the San Leandro Unified School District, 34 percent of 7th grade students and 29 percent of 9th grade students reported experiencing harassment at school based on their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability; and
WHEREAS, students who are subjected to discriminatory harassment are more likely to be depressed, to use and abuse alcohol and other substances, and report significantly lower grades than students who report no harassment; and
WHEREAS, for the past __ years, Elementary and Secondary Safe Schools teams in the San Leandro Unified School District have diligently worked to identify and resolve issues relating to discrimination, bullying and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in our schools, including developing and refining Safe School Action Plans and curriculum, while ensuring that our schools are safe and welcoming environments for all students, their parents and guardians and staff; and
WHEREAS, the efforts of the San Leandro Unified School District to provide a safe and secure learning environments free of discrimination will be undermined by any state initiative that would impose differential treatment of certain individuals based on defining characteristics such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 8 would enshrine discriminatory language in the California Constitution by limiting the right of marriage to only between a man and a women and, thereby, prohibiting individuals of the same sex from celebrating their love and commitment for each other through marriage; and
WHEREAS, Proposition 8 would perpetuate negative stereotypes, emphatically rejected by the Board of Education of the San Leandro Unified School District, that same-sex couples are in some respects “second-class citizens” who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, opposite-sex couples; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Education of the San Leandro Unified School District opposes Proposition 8, the “Limit on Marriage” amendment to the California Constitution.
PASSED AND ADOPTED this __ day of ____ 2008.