Lee County School Board again discussing student non-discrimination policies

Reporter: Nicole Lauren Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:
Lee County students. Credit: WINK News

A poster about student non-discrimination policies is once again the center of a Lee County School Board meeting Tuesday. School administrators want to make sure everyone feels safe and included, but will the poster stay in next year’s code of conduct, or will it be taken out?

The School Board may decide to do that, but there is a secondary draft in place that still tackles the issue of discrimination and how all students will be protected. it includes the same language, but it’s just worded differently.

The first page delineates the non-discrimination policy. The second page goes into how students or staff can get help if they are being discriminated against. The last page discusses nine things parents, staff and students need to know. Number six: “Schools must be proactive in ensuring that campuses are free from sex-based discrimination.” Another says the amendment applies to anyone, regardless of their gender identity.

WINK News spoke with a senior at Cypress Lake High School, Ricky Bocanegra.

“It is definitely unfortunate how we got here,” Ricky said. “But now that we’re here, it’s a great time to break it down. This has been bubbling… I suppose you could call it ‘controversy,’ for a while. But we’ve always been here, and we definitely have no intention of going anywhere.”

Bocanegra says the initial poster wasn’t just a best practices policy, but a guide on how to treat people respectfully. He hopes the conversation continues.

“Going forward, I want the school this year to encourage the education of these policies,” Bocanegra said. “Let people know that there is a page in the student code of conduct that is the best policy to show students their legal rights and show students what they can do if they have been discriminated against.”

In the past this topic has brought hundreds of people out to school board meetings. Anyone attending Tuesday’s meeting needs to fill out a card when they get there. You’ll give that card to the secretary of the board, and then your name will be called.

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