BAY SHORE, NY (CBSNewYork) – It’s a proud time for Long Island’s young gay community as the National Parent Teacher Association and its New York State branch have decided to allow the Long Island Gay PTA to use the PTA name.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

“To have the first gay PTA in the entire nation right here on Long Island in suburbia, is just absolutely incredible and a huge accomplishment,” David Kilmnick of the Long Island GLBT Services Network told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs on Thursday.

He told Xirinachs that education and understanding of their community will be the focus of the new PTA.

“To teach about the likes of Long Island native Harvey Milk and poet Walt Whitman into our history classes and talk about the great contributions that gay Americans have made to our history,” said Kilmnick.

He said that given the high rate of bullying and suicide in the gay youth community, there is no doubt this new parent-teacher-student group will save lives.

“We see this as the beginning of a movement to bring parents into the fold all across New York State and all across the country to be a part of the solution, to fight for safer schools and bullying against our gay kids,” Kilmnick told 1010 WINS.

The group will advocate for stronger measures to protect students from bullying. It also will seek to add the contributions of gays throughout history to school curriculums.

“Long Island Gay PTA, this PTA group will be a life-saving group for many kids and many families across Long Island,” he said.

Kilmnick told Xirinachs that the group will be inclusive and everyone will be welcome.

“You just have to believe in safe schools for all of our children,” he said.

The Long Island Gay Parent Teacher Student Association (LIGPTSA), as it will officially be known, will elect its officers from the two counties at an April 19 meeting in Garden City South.

Are you in favor of the new group? Sound off in the comments section below!

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