USD 232 school board to synchronize district policies on nondiscrimination

The USD 232 school board is planning to update district policies to reflect adoption of new language in its notice of nondiscrimination back in March.

The Unified School District No. 232 Board of Education will consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in all of its district policies, a move that would conform with current nondiscrimination policy adopted earlier this year.

At the beginning of 2019, the school board considered and adopted a district-wide policy that included sexual orientation and gender identity among the list of other protected classes. Alvie Cater, district spokesperson, said the three other policies district staff recommend updating have reference to the nondiscrimination policy.

“In its simplest form, it’s updating language in other policies to reflect what the board has already done in the official notice of nondiscrimination,” Cater said.

In January, students from both Mill Valley and De Soto high schools approached the school board asking it to consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy. Two months later, the board agreed to adopt the new language.

Cater said three other policies need to be updated to reflect the changes made back in March. These policies mainly relate to procedures for handling complaints.

Another recommended change in the district policies would direct the Director of Special Services, instead of human resources staff, to coordinate compliance with nondiscrimination requirements.

Cater said the school board on Monday, Nov. 4 may consider plaing the item on the consent agenda for the December board meeting for final adoption. If approved, the policies would go into effect immediately.

The Shawnee Mission Board of Education added similar language to its policy on nondiscrimination in September.