Missouri School Board Member Prioritizes Academic Subjects over LGBTQ Statement of Support

Introduction: Missouri school board member, Steve Makoski, has made headlines by rejecting a resolution proposing a statement of support for LGBTQ students in the Springfield Public Schools district. Makoski believes that activism should not be a focus of the board and that academic subjects such as reading, writing, and mathematics should take precedence. The resolution was introduced by board member Shurita Thomas-Tate, who voiced concerns about the safety of LGBTQ students. Despite some disagreement, Makoski’s opposition received applause from the board.

Read More: Debate Over Ensuring Support for LGBTQ Students: During a recent school board meeting, Thomas-Tate put forth a proposal to draft a statement of support for LGBTQ students, emphasizing the importance of their safety and well-being. She argued that providing support and inclusivity for this specific demographic of students would not incur any additional expenses for the board. However, Makoski issued a statement in response, expressing his opposition to the idea of creating such a statement.

Makoski’s Opposition and Focus on Academic Performance: In his response, Makoski asserted that the district already accepts and supports all students and staff members, rendering a separate statement unnecessary. He voiced concerns that approving the resolution would imply that LGBTQ students were not initially considered or supported. He instead stressed the need to prioritize academic subjects and enhance proficiency levels in reading, writing, and mathematics. Makoski harbored concerns about the current low academic performance and believed that the board’s time should be devoted to matters directly related to education rather than extraneous issues.

Community Petition and Board’s Engagement: The debate surrounding LGBTQ support has been ongoing for nearly a year, with community members petitioning the board to vote on a statement of support. The petition highlighted various statistics regarding the experiences of LGBTQ students, including instances of bullying and feeling unsafe within the school environment. Makoski acknowledged that community members continuously raised these concerns during public comment periods, but he believed that these discussions became repetitive and time-consuming for the board.

Read Also: School Board’s Stance and Commitment: Springfield Public Schools released a statement to emphasize their unwavering commitment to the well-being of all students and their dedication to creating an inclusive learning environment. They highlighted the unanimous adoption of a five-year Strategic Plan that prioritizes the needs of every student. The board’s vision is to equip students for success and empower them to pursue their goals and highest potential.

Conclusion: The decision made by Missouri school board member Steve Makoski to reject a statement of support for LGBTQ students has ignited a debate regarding priorities and activism within the education system. Makoski advocates for a stronger focus on academic subjects and expresses concerns about low proficiency levels. The response from the school board emphasizes their commitment to inclusivity while prioritizing academic opportunities for all students. This ongoing dialogue sheds light on the complexities surrounding LGBTQ support and the diverse perspectives within the educational community.

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