OCPS students protest changes to Pride Month proclamations

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A group of Orange County Public Schools students and parents say the district proclaimed June as Pride Month in 2022 and 2023, but for 2024, they’ve eliminated it.


However, district officials say they have an explanation for the change.

Orange County Public Schools first proclaimed June as LGBTQ+ Pride and Pulse Remembrance Month in 2021.

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“They sent queer and trans kids out into the world to become future leaders, now they’re saying, ‘you’re not worthy,’” parent Jen Cousins said. “If you compare this year’s resolution to last year’s, it’s more than cut in half.”

Cousins has children in four OCPS schools. She says she attended Tuesday’s School Board meeting to speak out against the change.

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For 2024, June will only be recognized as Pulse Remembrance Month.

“There’s been some confusion as to why,” Cousins said. “I’ve heard they’re trying not to repeat the proclamation, but they do have multiple proclamations for other communities throughout the year as well. This feels targeted towards the LGBTQ+ community, which we’ve seen too much of over the years.”

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When asked about the change and what initiated it, an OCPS spokesperson said a review of the proclamations for Pulse Remembrance and LGBTQ+ Awareness and History Month found repetitive language, so they were separated.

“At the same time, they’re taking away from the queer and trans kids at OCPS when they take away that recognition,” Cousins said. “If they’ve never proclaimed it before, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But they have, and now they’re taking it away.”

The district says a proclamation naming October LGBTQ+ Awareness and History Month will be on the board’s agenda in the fall.

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