Columbia schools mull impact of adding gender identity protection

2 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, May 26 2015 May 26, 2015 Tuesday, May 26, 2015 11:05:44 PM CDT May 26, 2015 in News
By: Jacob Jones, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - A wording change in the Columbia Public Schools' nondiscrimination policy could lead to district-wide changes.

The Columbia Board of Education's Policy Committee unanimously approved a wording change to include "gender identity" and "gender expression" the school district's nondiscrimination policy. This change began at the committee's April meeting when community members raised concerns regarding protection of transgender students and staff as well as those who do not conform to traditional gender identities. 

The policy already protects sexual orientation and genetic information from discrimination and harassment; however, Kyle Piccola of PROMO said this leaves out a demographic of the LGBTQ community.

Piccola is a senior field organizer for PROMO, Missouri's statewide lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual advocacy organization.

"The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, commonly referred to LGBT, faces certain barriers when it comes to living in the state of Missouri," Piccola said. 

At the top of the list is discrimination. Piccola said there is little legal protection for transgender men and women in the state of Missouri. 

Jan Mees is on the board of education and also serves on the policy committee. She said this change could have a large impact on the school district and must be thought out carefully.

"If you're putting something in policy, you have to expect that all the practitioners who will be dealing with that policy in their buildings, they need to have guidance also," Mees said. "Just because the school board says, 'Here, do it,' how is the best way to do it, whatever the policy is."

Mees along with the rest of the policy committee had positive things to say regarding the change. The committee unanimously voted to make the change and send it to the school board for approval. 

"The board will look at the policy with the changes made," Mees said. "If they're comfortable with accepting that as a first read in June, then come September, we would vote on it as a formal change to the policy."

"If a current staff member of CPS would like to transition, they currently aren't specifically protected," Piccola said. "This change would ensure that a staff member wanted to transition, they know they can't be fired for that."

Piccola also mentioned the University of Missouri as well as the city of Columbia both recently added gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation protection to their respective nondiscrimination policies. In the state of Missouri, Columbia is one of only sixteen municipalities with this specific protection. 

"Ninety-five percent of Fortune 500 companies already have these policies in place, so they already look at this as a good business policy," Piccola said. 

"As a governing body, the school board has to make the best decisions in the best interest of all students," Mees said. "What we're trying to do is what we feel is in the best interest of our students who might be undergoing this process of gender identity, and we have to make an accommodation for that."

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Firefighters have found two bodies while battling a blaze in a Kansas City, Kansas, home.... More >>
16 minutes ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 11:53:16 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — A former employee of a Carthage rehabilitation center was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:38:59 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police found 23 individually vacuum-sealed plastic bags of marijuana on Monday in a package delivered by FedEx. ... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 10:22:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri woman has been charged in the drowning death of her 6-month-old son. The... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:54:03 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — An Illinois man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in the fatal shooting of... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:43:49 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — Janesville police say the victim of a homicide was stabbed at least 30 times. ... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:37:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Fire crews have found a woman dead while putting out a fire in a suburban... More >>
2 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 9:28:02 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Board of Adjustment will hear from the public Tuesday morning about issuing a conditional... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, December 12 2017 Dec 12, 2017 Tuesday, December 12, 2017 6:42:00 AM CST December 12, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - It's a topic that many people shy away from, but one man came to Columbia to talk about... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 8:25:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Terron Wings says he considers himself blessed he can now call himself an “American taxpayer.” Wings, 37,... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:27:27 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- A Special Olympics Missouri plan nearly a decade in the making could become a reality as soon as... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education voted to approve ballot language for a $30 million bond issue Monday night... More >>
17 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 7:01:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – High winds and dry conditions warranted additional safety precautions for fire safety Monday in central Missouri. The... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 6:04:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
RENICK – The Beamer family was on the porch of their Randolph County home at the beginning of the storm... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 5:21:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ROCHEPORT - Consolidated Water issued a boil order advisory for parts of Howard County Monday due to a water main... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 4:29:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
ORONOGO (AP) — Homeowners living near a gun range in southwest Missouri are concerned about stray bullets that have been... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:32:30 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - When someone goes to the doctor for a checkup, they might expect the regular look at their eyes,... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:15:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri is using mobile pantries to provide food to areas that... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, December 11 2017 Dec 11, 2017 Monday, December 11, 2017 3:00:00 PM CST December 11, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
1pm 34°
2pm 36°
3pm 38°
4pm 38°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
1:00p
Days of Our Lives
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Gwen Stefani's You Make It Feel Like Christmas
9:00p
Chicago Med
7:00p
Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown 2017
8:00p
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld