Education is a right, and education is a responsibility. At Literacy, Inc. (LINC) we serve families with young children, infants through kindergarten, with early literacy programming that develops a love of books and prepares children to succeed in school. We believe it is the right of all students and educators to express themselves fully, see themselves reflected in their curriculums, and encourage awareness of a bigger world beyond their own doorstep. We believe it is the responsibility of adults to foster not just tolerance but respect. At LINC, we celebrate, love, and support children and families of all backgrounds and experiences. We welcome our diversity, respect our differences and cherish our common humanity.
The "Don't Say Gay" bill that passed Florida's state senate and house this week will make schools less safe for LGBTQ children and help to perpetuate a culture of ignorance, prejudice and violence. This legislation has the potential to do irreparable harm to young people by completely banning any discussion of LGBTQ issues in the classroom, from kindergarten to third grade. The specific wording of this law uses language “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students” seemingly unobjectionable but, without citing who establishes or defines those standards, leaving the door open to a narrow, restrictive interpretation of “appropriate.” We understand that any discussion of sexuality is highly personal and sensitive for many adults; that does not eliminate the responsibility of our public education system to present a comprehensive perspective nor should it allow the exclusion of particular communities. This legislation shrinks our world.
At LINC, we work to build a world where all children can be accepted, respected, uplifted, and validated, a world free of violence, prejudice and the stress or fear of being othered, excluded, or erased.
Our children’s well-being is the foundation of their academic achievement and their future success; that well-being depends so much on their ability to trust the adults around them and feel safe in their environments.
Our children deserve better and we must model the world we would like them to inherit. We cannot remain silent in the face of those who seek to divide us.
Spread the word in your community and register for LINC’s latest virtual reading programs. We can’t wait to read with you.