USD 253 color

A decision by the USD 253 Board of Education Wednesday to update its Board GAAA Equal Employment Opportunity and Nondiscrimination policy to include gender identity or expression and sexual orientation was met with applause.

The decision came after students and community members alike spoke in favor of the measure earlier in the meeting.

The changes came after the Kansas Association of School Boards issued a recommendation last month to include a provision adding verbiage prohibiting the district from using an applicant’s genetic information against them in the hiring process. The board discussed the provision, along with the possibility of also including gender identity and sexual orientation — which are already outlined for existing employees and students — as well.

“Policy GAAA is the EEOC policy — it’s the hiring policy,” Kelly Bolin, assistant superintendent of human resources, said. “We already had protections in place for staff concerns, staff complaints, and we had it for students. Where we didn’t have it was in our hiring.”

Bolin said KASB had recommended not adopting the language before federal legislation was settled to avoid possible litigation, however, other districts have adopted similar language without issue.

It’s an important distinction to make, she said.

“Our students need people who look like them,” Bolin said. “So, whenever you’re talking about inclusivity, you’re talking about having staff, having teachers, having support staff, that they identify with, that they look like, that they sound like, that they have the same concerns with.”

Outgoing Board Member Susan Brinkman said she felt it was important to add the language to be consistent in district policy.

“If we’re not practicing discrimination ... I don’t understand why we wouldn’t make all of our policies from hiring to employment to our students consistent,” she said.

Mallory Koci, who is also leaving the board, urged the board to go a step further as it moves forward in outlining protections and policies regarding transgender and non-binary students, faculty and staff, including comprehensive training opportunities.

“We cannot expect our staff and our faculty not to discriminate if they don’t know what it looks like,” Koci said. “I think that would be a good step forward from here, to build on this progress.”

The board also appointed Doug Epp and Mike Crouch to serve as board representatives for the Building for the Future Executive Committee. The committee will also include Superintendent Kevin Case, Assistant Superintendent for Business Rob Scheib, Maintenance Director Bob Fancher, IT Operations Director Paul Beadles, members of the elementary or secondary core team and representatives from HTK Architects and the McCownGordon team.

“To me, this committee is going to be tasked with a very large objective,” Board President Art Gutierrez said, suggesting that the board’s representatives serve terms of one year to give a wider breadth of input during the process.

The board also received an update on school safety updates and improvements. Updates to cyber-security and transportation, as well as secure entrances at all buildings, are providing multiple layers of protection to students, faculty and staff.

(16) comments

Onundr Sicard

The only people this change can hurt are those that want to discriminate against those groups.

Hananova

"Those Groups" call anyone who disagrees with them, "racists". So YOU NEED TO LOOK IN A MIRROR.

Funfun

Homeschooling for what? To be like you guys? Bitching and complaining on the internet all day?

Ok Boomers

Hananova

Who the hell complains on the internet ALL DAY? I haven't posted a comment here in 6 months. THuis forum is dominated by Progressive Snowflake bigots, like Aim-for-The-Gutter, who DOES spend every day posting his tripe.

"To be like you guys" - That's racist.

Aim_High

LMAO... "To be like you guys" is racist? Get a grip snowflake!

Hananova

Look in a mirror, RACIST. You people are the racists who pigeonhole people by their SKIN COLOR.

Hananova

I bet if you allowed the TAXPAYERS, the people who pay the huge salaries of the educrats, to actually VOTE on this extremist measure, you know, like in a DEMOCRACY, they would vote, overwhelmingly, to reject such a radical and anti-social measure. But the Educrats are "better" than everyone else, you see. So theses arrogant over-educated, overpaid zealots will do what they want and give the middle finger of "You're a racist" to anyone who raises a dissident voice.

Lets have some REAL freedom in Kansas - for homeschooling, charters schools, and private, and religious-based schools, so we can clean up the cultural sewer of mis- and mal-public education these Progressive Democrats have created.

Unfortunately, the far-Left-wing Kansas Supreme Court, which can not find any upward limit to the amount of money they extort from the taxpayers, will stifle any attempt at liberty and freedom in the area of our children's proper upbringing. And the Educrats have already stamped out any and all teaching of morality and ethics, in stead offer some transitory and meaningless "values". What a joke.

Aim_High

Are you talking about the TAXPAYERS who VOTED and ELECTED Governor Kelly, who shared her views about these issues during her campaign? You think Kansas should hold an election on each individual measure she brings forward? Sounds like a pretty dumb idea.

And protection from discrimination is extremist, radical, and anti-social? Wow. Pretty funny how you call me a racist and a bigot with views like that! And then you whine about being called a racist for having a dissident voice in the very next sentence. TOO FUNNY! I'll grab the plow truck, the snowflakes are coming like crazy!

And theres nothing stopping you from homeschooling your kids, so I'm not sure what freedom you're asking for to homeschool... just talking to hear yourself talk?

Hananova

Aim-for-the-Gutter, you lie in every sentence you write. The TAXPAYERS did NOT vote for Kelly. The people who voted for this feminist bigot, who carefully concealed her RADICAL left-wing agenda during the campaign, and who was supported by 100% of the anti-white, anti-male SEXIST, RACIST media.

The feminist bigot KELLY was elected by people who do NOT pay taxes.

Any white male who works for any level of government is routinely and BLATYANTLY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST when it comes to hiring and promotion.

SO

WHERE THE HELL IS MY PROTECTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION?

Anyone with the brains of a TURNIP knows there are uncountable obstacles placed by the communist teachers union and other Left-wing Educrats and Topeka bureaucrats and the extremist Left-wing bigots of the Kansas Supreme Court, obstacles placed to prevent anyone from educating their children outside the monopoly of the corrupt "public education" syndicate.

Aim_High

One conservative (Hannah) claims "there are uncountable obstacles ....(nonsense removed)..... placed to prevent anyone from educating their children outside the monopoly of the corrupt "public education" syndicate.

Another conservative (Snowflake) says "keep in mind that homeschooling is always an option in KS and very easy to accomplish as not many rules in doing so."

HMMMM... wonder which one is spreading FAKE NEWS?

Kansasforever

They didn’t vote For Kelly but against Korbach who was an idiot.

Hananova

They voted against Kobach because 99% of the media was sprewing FALSE Informartion and MISinformation. Now we have a liberal bigot governor free to appoint more BIGOTS to the Supreme Court. Rest easy, Snowflake Bigot - your bigotry will be locked in place by the Bigots on the Supreme Court

SnowGypsy

Keep in mind that homeschooling is always an option in KS and very easy to accomplish as not many rules in doing so. All the information is available at this state website: https://www.ksde.org/Agency/Division-of-Learning-Services/Career-Standards-and-Assessment-Services/CSAS-Home/Graduation-and-Schools-of-Choice/Non-Accredited-Private-Schools There is a wealth of information available online. Homeschooling is growing at a rapid rate as it provides many advantages. Sure, socialization is good, but only if the ones being socialized are a positive force. So many advantages to homeschooling, especially if you want to pass your values along to your children and avoid state indoctrination.

Aim_High

Yes, lets pull kids out of school and teach them to be homophobes. State "indoctrination" that teaches tolerance and equality is evil. Let's instead teach our children "values" like being anti-social hateful people.

I'm sure there are plenty of good reasons to homeschool your kid, but fear of having a gay teacher or classmate isn't one of them.

Hananova

Hey, Aim_for_the_Gutter, SnowGypsy did not say anything about gays or homosexuals.That makes you a racist and a bigot.

Aim_High

Ok genius, then why did she come into an article about updating a nondiscrimination policy to include gender identity or expression and sexual orientation to talk about homeschooling and avoiding state indoctrination?

And being for a nondiscrimination policy makes me a racist and a bigot? Boy you really are dumb.

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