New Albany Floyd County Schools adds 'sexual orientation' to non-discrimination policy
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The New Albany Floyd County School board has added "sexual orientation" to its non-discrimination policy.
The board approved the change unanimously Monday night 6-0, and after the meeting, one of the board members said, "it was just time."
"The school board does not discriminate on the basis of religion race, color, national origin, sexual orientation," said Bill Briscoe as he read the updated policy.
Monday night, NAFC Schools voted to add the words “sexual orientation” to the district’s Non-discrimination and Access to Equal Educational Opportunity policy.
It helps protect more than 11,000 students and staff members who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
"This day in time, we just figured it needed to be in there," said board member Donna Corbett.
Corbett brought up the issue asking board members to vote on it saying she didn’t understand why it was overlooked in the past.
"There wasn't much discussion about it for the most part, the whole board we brought it up and everyone agreed that it needed to be in there and that was pretty much the end of the discussion,” said Corbett. “There wasn't really a lot of discussion - nobody felt that it should be left out."
"Adding that at this point is a huge, huge step forward," said Brad Bell, presidents of the newly formed group Southern Indiana Equality.
Bell says the addition of sexual orientation is long overdue and can actually help those who may be bullied.
"Especially the students,” said Bell. “If they see a gay teacher then they're more apt to be - to feel more comfortable in their own skin - and maybe they want to be a teacher and they can pursue their career knowing that there's a place they'll be able to teach."
Corbett says board members have discussed unisex bathrooms in the past - when talking about future school renovations - but says they've made no decisions on that.
The next step she says could be discussing "gender identity."
The board also discussed adding "sexual orientation" to two other employment policies and those will be voted on in December.
You can read the full policy here. (Click “2000” then “2260”)
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