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Unity in Diversity: Mat-Su's Call for Forward-Thinking Change


Mat-Su School Board Meeting, June 8, 2023

Wednesday night's school board meeting marked a pivotal point in our local politics as major policy changes were passed on a 6-1 vote. A compelling show of unity and advocacy for forward-thinking values was heartening to see, as the voices favoring LGBTQ+ rights outnumbered those supporting the proposed changes by 12 to 8.


Board member Ted Swanson was the lone dissenting vote, expressing concerns that the changes seemed to diminish the First Amendment rights he swore an oath to uphold when he pledged to protect the U.S. Constitution. He believes in the importance of diverse expression and the freedom to voice differing opinions within our educational system.


The night was rife with deliberations about substantial policy changes touching on school counseling services, the use of students' names and pronouns in school, parent notification processes, and the political activities of school employees.



The most passionately discussed among these were policies BP 6020 and BP 6142.01. BP 6020 now demands parental permission before a student's name or pronoun can be changed at school, and BP 6142.01 seeks to clarify the parent notification process for sex education materials. Other notable revisions included adjustments to school counseling services (BP 6164.2) and a new rule (BP 4055) curtailing political activism of school district employees during work hours.


Despite Mat-Su's traditionally conservative leanings, Wednesday's meeting spotlighted the strength and resolve of our forward-thinking community as they championed LGBTQ+ rights. The audience predominantly supported these rights, showing a readiness to embrace the diversity of our community.


The testimonies provided by those supporting LGBTQ+ rights reflect the evolving landscape of our society. They emphasized that change, particularly concerning gender identities, shouldn't be stifled until adulthood but rather be guided and supported during these formative years.


These dialogues demonstrate the urgent need for action. The next school board meeting on June 21st will extend the discourse to a policy potentially requiring parental consent before students can access materials depicting human sexuality in libraries and media centers.


To our forward-thinking Mat-Su residents: this is our call to action. Let's use this momentum to advocate for the diversity, inclusivity, and equal rights of all students. We, the Mat-Su Democrats, invite you to join us in organizing and electing new, forward-thinking members to the school board this coming November 7.


Your engagement can facilitate understanding, create change, and ensure our diverse needs and values are represented. Together, we can navigate these policy discussions with empathy and respect, fostering an environment where all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, feel valued, understood, and safe.


Now is the time to unite, amplify our voices, and champion change. Let's celebrate diversity, promote empathy, and ensure every student's well-being. Remember, every voice matters, and together, we can create a future that is inclusive, forward-thinking, and accepting.


Stand tall. Stand proud. Stand together. Your voice matters. Let's make it count. Contact us at info@matsudems.org if you have time to help in the the upcoming elections on November 7.


If you support our efforts to organize, please make a contribution to help us support and promote your values in the Mat-Su.





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Jonna Naylor
Jonna Naylor
Jun 15, 2023

Join us June 17 at 2p to organize for November elections! It has to start now! Black Birch Books on Saturday! Much to set in motion…

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