Archive for Friday, November 18, 2011

Topeka adds groups to anti-discrimination policy

November 18, 2011

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— The Topeka school district has expanded its anti-discrimination policy to include homosexual and transgender students and staff.

The board voted Thursday night to expand the policy to include the words "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression."

The district's attorney, Cindy Kelly, said the additions are designed to help students who are being bullied or harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that board member Janel Johnson cast the only no vote. She said the current anti-bullying policy already protects all students.

Other board members said they supported the move because it was important to send a message that the district will not tolerate discrimination against anyone.

Comments

pepper_bar 3 years, 5 months ago

Looks reasonable overall, but what does the "expression" part mean? That seems like it could be problematic.

Cai 3 years, 5 months ago

It sounds really, really nitpicky, grammar wise, but having gone back and read the reports on this bill, it matters, so bear with me.

Gender Identity and Expression is one thing, so expression is referring only to the expression of gender.

so, it should have been written "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression."

Not sure who wrote it wrong, the board, the capitol journal, or the AP. Also not sure, in any of the cases, how people will end up interpreting the new clause later. However, that's the intent behind it.

Expression being separate would be written as "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity <,> and expression." ... which leads to a lot more ambiguity, and the other literature doesn't seem to suggest this particular intent in the writing of the clause.

jafs 3 years, 5 months ago

Your two examples are the same, and identical to the wording in the article.

Cai 3 years, 5 months ago

...they took out the tags. the first should be ""sex, sexual orientation, [and] gender identity and expression."

the second should be "sex, sexual orientation, gender identity [,] and expression."

apologies for not noticing that the <s were gone.

BigDog 3 years, 5 months ago

Just like Topeka USD 501 ..... lets focus on the wording of policies instead of the act. Bullying issues in school period .... it can be because of what a kid wears, looks like, how they speak, mole, etc. You can add stuff forever and not cover all of the reasons ..... maybe bullying because the person is blonde is a problem. I shouldn't give USD 501 Board any additional ideas.

The act of bullying should not be tolerated in schools ..... regardless of the reason .... period

How about focusing on how policies are implemented and bullying issues handled instead of making sure every reason is covered?

Jeremiah Jefferson 3 years, 5 months ago

I was bullied some in school. That was untill I started to hit and fight back. After that I never got bullied anymore. Just sayin.

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