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TPS student speaking on LGBTQ inclusivity booed during heated board meeting

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A photo of Tulsa Public Schools board members during a meeting held on Monday night discussing LGBTQ issues. Photo taken from screenshot of the meeting June 21, 2022.

Members of Tulsa Public Schools board heard from multiple people on their concerns over LGBTQ inclusivity in the classroom during a meeting held Monday evening.

One TPS student was booed loudly by some in the audience after saying all board members should receive training on LGBTQ issues.

Dr. Deborah Gist was forced to stop and reset the clock as members of the audience began to shout at each other. One person can be heard saying, "This is a child."

Former TPS teacher Greg Lowry said supporting Tulsa's LGBTQ+ students is the key to safety.

"It is literally suicide prevention," Lowry explained.

If not for the kindness and acceptance from his chemistry teacher, Lowry said he would have taken his own life when he was in school.

“Our district non-discrimination policy says that the districts prohibit discrimination based on things including sexual orientation, and gender expression, and this applies to everyone including board members in any aspects of the district's programs or outside of school hours if the conduct affects the education or working environment," Lowry said.

Lowry said students cannot learn or grow in an environment they feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.