Columbia schools mull impact of adding gender identity protection

3 years 2 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
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri candidate who recently claimed a surprise victory in the Republican primary for state... More >>
20 minutes ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 2:05:00 PM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis housing complex where reported... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:57:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - St.Louis-based SSM Health confirmed Thursday it is exploring a transfer of its Jefferson City and Mexico hospitals to... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 10:28:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Regional Airport managers held the first All Things Airport monthly meeting on Thursday. The meeting was... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:48:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in Top Stories
(CNN) - Aretha Franklin, whose gospel-rooted singing and bluesy yet expansive delivery earned her the title "the Queen of Soul,"... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Thursday morning's latest drought update from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows the expansion of drought... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Missouri woman who's charged with killing her 5-year-old daughter and critically injuring her 1-year-old son... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 8:38:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jetliner taking off narrowly missed hitting an airport van that crossed a runway to go to... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:46:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former Missouri state trooper who was driving a boat when a handcuffed Iowa man fell... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, August 16 2018 Aug 16, 2018 Thursday, August 16, 2018 5:41:00 AM CDT August 16, 2018 in News
MONTGOMERY COUNTY - A multiple vehicle accident shut down both sides of Interstate 70 Wednesday around 7 p.m. At least... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 8:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department opened a new substation in northeast Columbia on Wednesday. It's located off of Paris... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:36:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA – In his first comments on the extended period of weekend violence in downtown Columbia, Police Chief Ken Burton... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:28:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department and the Columbia Police Department issued a joint statement Wednesday calling recent... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 6:24:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A jury has awarded Missouri prison guards compensation for work they performed before and after... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 5:51:38 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate allegations that a lawyer for the ex-husband of... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Teachers and staff spent their last day before the new school year not just preparing lesson plans... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:20:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A grant and 10 year plan want to help revitalize an old section of Columbia and make it... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 4:03:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
KINGDOM CITY - Many rural school districts aren't getting enough from the state to pay for transporting students. Last... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 15 2018 Aug 15, 2018 Wednesday, August 15, 2018 2:22:00 PM CDT August 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
3pm 91°
4pm 91°
5pm 91°
6pm 91°