LCS superintendent responds to privacy concerns regarding LGBTQ guide
Find a PDF file of the inclusivity guide and other documents at the bottom of this story.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna weighed in Tuesday on concerns about the district’s new inclusivity guide, saying there’s no way to please everyone.
Equality Florida raised concerns about the privacy and safety of LGBTQ+ students after reviewing several sections in the recently adopted 15-page policy.
Some of those concerns stemmed from a form that students could fill out if they identify as LGBTQ+. A section in that guide also states that parents of other students would be notified if LGBTQ students are in their child’s gym class or attending an overnight trip. That specific policy has rubbed some students and parents the wrong way.
Hanna says the guide was drawn up with lots of input from several people in the community, with the hopes of really providing a safe space for students. He says he’s proud of what they created.
“Those kids that are identifying with gender identity issues and concerns, we need to absolutely protect them and support them. But at the same time, the other students and other parents deserve that same respect and support,” Hanna says. “And we, I think with this guide have done a good job of meeting in the middle to ensure that we are doing both of those things.”
Hanna says he encourages to community to go on the school board’s website to look up the facts, and more details on the guide the district approved in June.
Below, you’ll find WCTV’s story from Monday, July 11, regarding Equality Florida’s concern about the new guide.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A new inclusivity guide for Leon County Schools still leaves room for improvement, according to Equality Florida.
The 15-page guide, approved on June 28, breaks down new policies aimed to help school staff and personnel welcome and support students that identify as LGBTQ+. However, some of the guidelines have generated concerns about the possibility of outing students before they’re ready, as well as the dangers of it.
”We’re committed to ensuring that the school board is protecting all those students and making sure that they have a policy that is fair to everybody, provides the best experience for all students, respects privacy and clearly finds that right balance,” said Equality Florida Public Policy Director Jon Harris Maurer. ”Unfortunately, we know that a lot of young folks don’t come from supportive families, and so outing them before they’re ready is an infringement into their own privacy rights and can impact their safety.”
There is now a form that students can fill out if they identify as LGBTQIA+, and, under certain scenarios, parents of other students will be notified of their attendance in gym class or overnight trips.
”We do think that there’s room for improvement, and we’re committed to working with the school district to make sure that again, every student is protected, and every family is respected,” Maurer said.
This excerpt from the guide is an example of what a parent notification will look like:
“A student who is open about their gender identity is in your child’s gym class or extracurricular activity- if you’re requesting accommodations please contact the school.”
WCTV did reach out to the Leon County School District to have it respond to the concerns but was unable to get a comment Monday.
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