Thank you so much for writing this important article on LGBTQ+ youth [District 90 strives for inclusion, News, Oct. 2]. For too long D90 was slow to move on actually doing things (rather than just passively listening), and it is brave and amazing of the young people interviewed in the article to give their time and energy to help move things forward.
I wished a bit more celebration of the bravery of these young people could have been included. The tone of the article seemed to celebrate the district’s inclusion efforts and less the bravery and energy that it took these kids to allow their voices to be heard, to reach out to the school district and allow their voices to be heard in public.
Ana Shack, one of the kids interviewed for the article, is my daughter and I know firsthand how much it took for her to take on such public leadership. I am also a licensed clinical counselor working with lots of LGBTQ teens in my work at a private high school in Wheaton, and I know all too well that this kind of leadership does make a huge difference, but it takes a lot of guts and energy and that LGBTQ youth face daily adversities others don’t have to face.
I hope a future article will follow up with D90’s continued efforts to increase inclusion and will also give reference to the fact that it is an amazing action by young people who have already graduated to continue to raise their voices and concerns for future generations.
I felt it a bit disappointing that this was not included in the current article and hope that this will be brought up in future articles. I also hope that future articles will check back on D90’s efforts on what they are actually doing day by day to make LGBTQ youth feel more safe, included and heard. When Ana was a student,that surely was not the case, and my son is a sixth-grader at Roosevelt Middle School who has several friends who identify as LGBTQ and would surely profit from continued improvements in the district’s actions.
This is such an important topic and ongoing coverage of this would be so important for the Oak Park and River Forest community.