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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
October 27, 2006

Dayton schools add sexual orientation to non-bias rules

Dayton--The Dayton City School Board on October 17 voted unanimously to add sexual orientation, along with two other categories, to the protections it offers to students, staff, parents and contractors.

Joe Lacey, the first openly gay school board member in Ohio, introduced the measure, which passed 60.

Disability and status as a parent were added by other board members, �which is fine,� said Lacey. �I have no problem with that.�

�I thought it really needed to include sexual orientation. Someone else thought disability and status as a parent was needed,� he explained.

The policies include the nondiscrimination code covering students, staff, job applicants, the general public and individuals who do business with the school district, as well as equal opportunity employment, retention and advancement and the equal educational opportunities code.

The nondiscrimination policy also explicates the board�s view that harassment is a form of discrimination, so barring anti-gay harassment is explicit in the code.

The changes take effect immediately, covering the 16,700 students and over 2,000 employees in the district.

Sexual orientation, disability and status as a parent joins race, national origin, citizenship status, religion, sex, economic status, age and other factors in the district�s policies.

Lacey did not view the passage of the measure necessarily as a display of acceptance of gays and lesbians among members of the school board.

�Nobody really felt like taking the charge of being against it,� he opined.

There are currently no plans for specific programs to educate employees and students about the changes at this time.

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