OMAHA, Neb. — The Omaha school board has updated the district’s anti-discrimination policy to include gender identity or gender expression.
The board voted 6-0 Wednesday night after comments from students and community residents.
“I’m not concerned in the least that my daughter or my son would be corrupted by learning more about gender identity or expression,” parent Daniel Hawkins said. “I am scared for the way (transgender students) will be treated in the absence of strong policy that protects them.”
Others said the district should avoid the nationwide debate over restroom and locker rooms and other issues involving transgender students.
“Do all you can to keep them safe,” Pastor Michael Williams said of transgender students. “But please do not create a policy that legitimizes, normalizes and affirms the LGBT and transgender lifestyles.”
The revised policy does not contain guidance on restrooms and locker rooms. The board has discussed crafting a policy to address those issues but so far hasn’t.
The district’s policy was written in 2014 and bans discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability and age. The proposal adds gender identity and expression, along with pregnancy, military service and political affiliation, to the protected groups.