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Down Syndrome Awareness Day Commemorated throughout The Los Angeles Unified School District (03-13-24)



Los Angeles Unified School District

Board of Education 

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Scott M. Schmerelson
Board Member, District 3


News Release


Silvia K. Martinez, 213-241-8333                           


March 13, 2024


 Down Syndrome Awareness Day Commemorated throughout The Los Angeles Unified School District

Los Angeles (March 13, 2024) - Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson sponsored a resolution to commemorate World Down Syndrome Awareness Day at Los Angeles Unified and was co-sponsored by Board President Jackie Goldberg and Board Members Dr. George J. McKenna III, Dr. Rocío Rivas and Mr. Nick Melvoin while passing with the full support of the other members of the board of education.


The resolution recognizes March 21st as Down Syndrome Awareness Day in the District and suggests that Los Angeles Unified enhances support to all communities to destigmatize the current social views of Down Syndrome.


“I am honored to unite with millions around the world for Down Syndrome Awareness Day,” said Board Vice President Scott M. Schmerelson. “LAUSD is committed to making all environments inclusive while tending to the needs of all students regardless of disability. However, acknowledgments like Down Syndrome Awareness Day are also about accountability, pushing us to do better to create positive change through education.”


“We remain committed to sustaining learning environments that promote academic excellence, joy and wellness for all students year round regardless of disability,” said Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho. “Together we can create a more accepting and inclusive world that honors the individuality of people with Down Syndrome and raise awareness about the vital role they play in our lives and communities.


“I strongly support Scott Schmerelson’s Resolution to observe March 21 as Down Syndrome Awareness Day,” said Board President Jackie Goldberg. “Let’s raise awareness and celebrate the abilities and accomplishments of our students with Down Syndrome this day and every day.”


“Down Syndrome Day is a time for us to acknowledge the value that inclusive learning practices have on all of our students,” said Board Member Dr. George J. McKenna III. “We want our students to have full productive lives upon completion of diploma or certification.”


“In observance of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, our District can foster an inclusive environment to ensure that students with Down Syndrome are full and valued members of their school communities,” said Board Member Dr. Rocio Rivas.


"I’m happy to mark March 21st as World Down Syndrome Awareness Day to advocate for the rights, inclusion, and wellbeing of people with Down Syndrome,” said Board Member Nick Melvoin. “Too often, people with Down Syndrome are denied a quality education, a chance to work, and quality health care. I'm proud that the District will commemorate this day to uplift the voices and experiences of the Down Syndrome community."


“Down Syndrome Awareness Day is an opportunity to recognize the important role people with Down syndrome play in our communities. It further compels us as educators to renew our commitment to inclusivity and supporting our diverse learners.”


“I’m proud to support the celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Day today and every day as LA Unified recognizes the rights and supports the learning and well-being of all scholars,” Board Member Tanya Ortiz Franklin said. “This resolution will continue to foster inclusion and help raise awareness of how people with Down Syndrome play an important role in our communities. Together, we can create a more inclusive society where everyone is valued and supported.”


“As a school district that educates students and supports families from diverse communities, we must recognize and empower historically discriminated and left-behind communities,” said Student Board Member Karen Ramirez. “This resolution is a commitment from Los Angeles Unified to acknowledge our students with Down Syndrome and their contributions. I am extremely excited to know that we will work together to meet the needs of such an important community in Los Angeles Unified.”