Columbia schools mull impact of adding gender identity protection

2 years 4 months 3 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
COLUMBIA - Access to health care can be a matter of life or death. Callaway County's only hospital almost... More >>
43 minutes ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia reached a settlement with General Motors... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:57:11 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff's deputies said a teenager was shot in a home on Bethany Drive on Wednesday. The... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:43:58 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating a home invasion on Clark Lane after victims said two men broke in and took... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:07:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - For Harold’s Doughnuts owner Michael Urban, big customer turnout and big sales are Homecoming traditions he looks forward... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 8:13:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Homecoming weekend is a big deal in Columbia with thousands flocking in for festivities, including tailgating prior to... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:35:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
BOONVILLE - Law enforcement took two into custody after a car chase late Wednesday night. The couple was identified... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:09:00 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS - Southwest's first all-female crew took off from Missouri on Wednesday. The flight traveled from St. Louis... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jaden Schwartz had his third career hat trick to help the St. Louis Blues beat the... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:06:59 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Department responded to a call at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in West Columbia. They are... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:39:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MEXICO-- As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, a report by the Violence Policy Center shows that Missouri... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:29:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
ASHLAND - Children, parents and politicians attended a Youth Town Hall featuring Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Missouri, Wednesday evening at the... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 7:14:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - After an active threat on MU’s campus, some are disappointed with the MU Alert system and question its... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 6:51:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Downtown Leadership Council met Tuesday to decide how to spend fees paid by developers to compensate businesses... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Arkansas man who made bomb threats to a county courthouse in Missouri so his court hearing... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 4:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Police arrested a man Tuesday on suspicion of more than a dozen crimes, including rape, statutory rape, sodomy,... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Six years after being one of the first 16 schools to incorporate the Coulter Awards, MU has become... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:14:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – People struggling with alcoholism can find help more easily with a new online navigator tool released by the... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, October 18 2017 Oct 18, 2017 Wednesday, October 18, 2017 3:12:00 PM CDT October 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
2pm 74°
3pm 76°
4pm 80°
5pm 77°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Will & Grace
8:31p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld