justice in our schools
On March 27, 2018, several co-conspirators from Galileo Church attended the Mansfield ISD school board meeting to give public comment about the lack of protections for LGBTQ+ employees and students in MISD policies. Melina Wikoff used her time at the mic to lift up her brilliant and beautiful kids, who both graduated valedictorian of their high school class from an MISD high school.
Thank you, members of the school board, for the opportunity to speak before you. My name is Melina Wikoff. Both of my kids graduated from Legacy High School: my youngest the valedictorian of the class of 2017 and my oldest the valedictorian of the class of 2015.
I was surprised to learn that the Mansfield ISD statement of non-discrimination does not include sexual orientation or gender identity among the protected classes. I was surprised because in my naïveté I believed that the city and schools that my family and I love so much would never discriminate against anyone.
Last year at the assembly honoring the top scholars, Dr. Vaszauskas [MISD superintendent] encouraged the students who aspire to be teachers by guaranteeing them an interview with MISD once they are ready to start their teaching careers. My oldest child would love nothing more than to give back to the community that has given her so much.
But knowing that she would be among the educators who would not be protected against discrimination or harassment is enough for this mom to stand before you now to say that the current policy does a disservice to not only the exceptional educators that are already serving our community, but also to the future of our school district as we strive to attract the brightest and best to our district.
I urge our policymakers to take a true stand toward liberty and justice for all by protecting all people against discrimination in its written policies. Thank you.