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Missouri school board rejects LGBTQ+ ‘statement of support’: ‘I’m not here to push an agenda’

A Missouri school board rejected an LGBTQ+ “statement of support” after responding to calls to write a statement from community members.

Springfield Public Schools board member Shurita Thomas-Tate suggested the board draft a statement on the a school council meeting on Tuesday. When she defended an LGBTQ statement, Thomas-Tate said students in the LGBTQ community expressed that they don’t feel “safe.”

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“I personally would like to see us have a resolution and the reason I think a resolution is necessary is because we have a subset of our student population that has expressed significant concern about their welcoming environment,” Thomas-Tate said.

He added that it “costs” the board nothing to ensure that a certain student demographic feels supported.

Missouri school board rejects LGBTQ+ ‘statement of support’: ‘I’m not here to push an agenda’

Springfield, Missouri Public Schools board member Shurita Thomas-Tate suggested the board draft a statement at a school board meeting Tuesday. (Fox News)

The effort to draft a statement began earlier this year.

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Community members started a online request in January, demanding that Springfield Public Schools (SPS) “vote to make a statement of support for queer students and staff who are enrolled/work for SPS” throughout the academic year.

In addition, the petition asked the SPS board to vote on a draft statement presented by Dr. Kyler J. Sherman-Wilkins during a Sept. 6 board meeting.

The petition cites statistics that say one-fifth of Generation Z students identify within the LGBTQ+ community and that more than 65% say they have been bullied or feel unsafe at school. In addition, 45% of them have suicidal thoughts or attempts.

New pride flag.

Springfield, Missouri Public Schools board member Shurita Thomas-Tate suggested the board draft a statement of support for LGBTQ members at a school board meeting Tuesday. (Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News via Getty Images)

The request gathered nearly 400 signatures.

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“We believe that while this statement does not address all of the concerns facing queer students and staff, it is a necessary first step in ensuring that these students and staff are welcomed and supported at SPS. We demand that this action be take immediately.” reads the petition.

However, the board did not work in his favor after other board members disagreed with the suggestion.

Board member Steve Makoski, who “prepared a statement” in response to the resolution, rejected the suggestion to draft an affirmative LGBTQ+ statementcausing applause.

“As a member of this prestigious board, I am not here to push a gender identity agenda, GLO … rainbow clubs, MAGA groups, Pride, NRA, NAACP or any other group or faction,” he said Makoski.

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He continued, “This resolution is nothing but a distraction to our school system.”

Makoski went on to say, “I see this resolution as an attack on these four walls by activists … who are constantly trying to distract this board from its mission and vision.

“I did not become a member of this board to help facilitate activists and their agenda.”

When Fox News Digital reached out to SPS for comment, it sent a statement saying, “Our Board of Education remains committed to the well-being of every student by providing high-quality academic opportunities.”

“We want every Springfield Public School (SPS) student to be prepared for success when they graduate and take the next step. While we may not always agree, we are unanimous in our adoption of a five-year strategic plan that prioritizes all students.”, the statement continued.

“This plan includes a focus on creating a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for all. We care about our students, staff and their families. Our unified vision is for SPS to be the district of choice that equips every student to achieve their goals and highest potential as an engaged contributor to society. As we move forward, our focus will remain on that outcome.”

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