SCPS Passes Nondescrimination Bill 4-3


Aynsleigh escher, Editor

At yesterday’s school board meeting, a new policy that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of things protected by the nondiscrimination policy was passed 4-3. Those who voted in favor include Vice Chair and Falmouth representative Sarah Chase, George Washington representative Dewayne McOsker, Garrisonville representative Pamela Yeung and Griffis-Widewater representative Jaime Decatur. Those who voted against include Board Chair and Rock Hill representative Patricia Healy, Aquia representative Irene Hollerback and Hartwood representative Holly Hazard. 

While this bill covers a variety of gender and sexuality related issues, like discrimination on the basis of marital status, pregnancy, and sexuality, it does not cover the controversial bathroom issue, which is a common misconception about the bill. While the initially proposed bill (the one rejected in the July vote) did discuss bathroom and locker room problems, the one voted on yesterday did not directly address it. 

This bill overrules the laws set by the State of Virginia in regards to such discrimination. For example, while the state allows for teachers to be fired for being homosexual, the new county policy makes that illegal. 

Overall, this new policy covers a plethora of issues that have been long standing but brought to light within the last couple of years. The S.A.G.E. club at CFHS and other organisations have worked to raise awareness of the lack of nondiscrimination legislation in Stafford county/propose new policies, and this new bill opens the doors for future similar legislature to be passed.