At nearly 11 p.m. after a 4.5 hour meeting, the Ellsworth School Board approved the painting of rainbow crosswalks at the High School and Middle School, on school property. The vote was 4-1 with Jenn Alexander voting no.

Photo Getty Images
Photo Getty Images
The proposal came after Carrie Kutny, a Spanish teacher at Ellsworth High School and advisor to the GSDA (Gender/Sexuality Diversity Alliance) at Ellsworth High School wrote a letter asking that the rainbow crosswalks be installed at the two schools.

According to the Facebook Group Rainbow Crosswalks for Ellsworth, the GSDA students conceived this idea as a way to celebrate Pride and to promote positive change. A rainbow signals to everyone that our community and schools are safe spaces for all. The students even procured a grant from Healthy Acadia, so that this project would cost Ellsworth taxpayers nothing

According to the 2019 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, 13.6% of high school students in Maine identify as LGBT. The survey also indicates that LGBT kids are significantly more likely to endure bullying, violence, discrimination, lack of adult support, suicidal ideation, and higher rates of substance abuse than their heterosexual and cisgender peers.

According to the conversation on Facebook, this request is a natural follow-up of "Rachel's Challenge" which the School System embraced last year as a means of fighting bullying.

There is no cost to the City of Ellsworth Schools as funding will be provided by Healthy Acadia

There is a motion for the City of Ellsworth to paint rainbow crosswalks and this will be discussed at the upcoming City Council Meeting on August 17

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