Burlington schools wants to ensure it’s supporting all of its students. That’s why the district announced a new community led task force.  

Starting next month members of the LGBTQ + Task Force will  meet every two weeks. The goal is to make sure all students regardless of sexual orientation are supported.

“Just be yourself, don’t be someone else, that is it,” Sydney Russell, student at Hunt Middle School said. 

Russell said there is a pressure to feel like you need to fit in. 

“It’s harder just because I feel based on the looks of you or the sound of your voice or just things in general,” Russell said. “I feel like it’s harder to be a part of.” 

With the Burlington School District’s new LGBTQ + Task Force, the school hopes to better understand the district’s strengths and areas for improvement in supporting the LGBTQ + community.

This is Autumn Bangora’s third year working with the office of equity, as an Equity Instructional Leader.

“We know from youth risk data that schools are not always the most welcoming places for the LGBTQ + community and we seek to improve that,” Bangora said. “I often get some emails either from gay students or staff that say, “what about us,” we need more representation.” 

This task is going to advise the district of best practices to honor the needs of all students.   

“We really want to focus on action steps to create a sense of safety in our buildings and increase resprestations in our curriculum,” Bangora said. 

The task force will be made up of primarily students.

“We are hoping for 11 folks but it’s going to be students, staff, administration, community members, anyone can apply,” Bangora said. 

Students hope this can be a reminder that we are all equal. 

“Everyone needs to feel welcome and should feel like they are meant to be here,” Russell said.