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In February 2018, the University of Iowa Public Policy Center issued a report on LGBTQ Student Experiences in the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD). The report was done by a multi-stakeholder task force.

The authors of the report were Sarah Bruch, director of the social and education policy research program at the Public Policy Center. She’s an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Iowa.

Tessa Heeren, a research associate at the Public Policy Center.

Austin James Dyami Adams was a fourth-year undergraduate student at Iowa. He was pursuing degrees in political science, ethics and public policy and economics.

Natalie Veldhouse was a second-year master of social work student.

The task force was motivated by the finding of systematic and patterned disparities between LGB and non-LGB students, as well as between non-binary gender identified students and male and female-identified students in the 2017 assessing student experiences of school report.

The ICCSD Board of Education supported the assembly of the task force to assess and prioritize potential strategies to promote greater equity in student experiences and ensure all students are able to thrive in ICCSD schools.

The LGBTQ Task Force was the second task force convened by the Equity Implemented Partnership to collect and synthesize input from diverse sets of stakeholders to inform the district on decision-making on equity-related topics.

The research team recruited task force members. There was targeted recruitment of organizations that provide services or resources specifically to LGBTQ populations, or who have experience working with LGBTQ populations.

There was a desire to achieve a “diverse” taskforce with majority-LGBTQ representation taken into consideration.

Sixty-three completed applications were reviewed. Forty-one people were selected to represent the various stakeholder positions.

The report states that the task force members were purposefully recruited to reflect a range of identities and backgrounds, since it was focused on improving experiences for LGBTQ students. A majority of the task force identified as LGB or non-binary.

Statements in the report indicate the task force included “very few men.” The task force was also a “very white group.”

In the 2016-17 Student Experiences of School Climate survey, eight percent of students identified as LGB (lesbian, gay, bisexual). Two percent identified as non-binary in terms of gender identity.

We will share articles throughout the day about the report’s findings and subsequent efforts to push LGBTQ indoctrination in the ICCSD.

Author: Jacob Hall