In several school districts, the use of "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" as protected classes has been removed from their policies.
Several school districts in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and Texas have introduced new policies that include references to sexual orientation and gender identity. The Catholic Church's Omaha, Nebraska, diocese, which oversees several schools and churches, said earlier this month that it would be changing its policy, which was introduced in spring, to require students to treat each other according to their biological sex.
According to the policy, students should conduct themselves in line with their biological sex when using restrooms, dressing, and participating in school-sanctioned activities.
The new policy, which will take effect in the 2023-24 school year, affects 52 schools and 12 co-ed high schools within the Omaha diocese. Students who are struggling with a gender dysphoria condition can also receive help developing an accommodation plan.
The policy also stated that students' admission or retention would not be affected by their gender dysphoria condition. If a student experiences incongruence or gender dysphoria, school leaders and pastors would work with parents to create an accommodation plan that follows Catholic teachings.
Initially, the policy stated that students and families who exhibited hostility toward the school's traditional views on sexual issues could be dismissed or disciplined. However, this was modified after local residents criticized the new policy. The new version of the policy states that school staff members can help families create an accommodation plan by working with them to find other accommodations.
The new policy stated that if a student, parent, or guardian requests an accommodation that doesn't follow the policy, it could lead to the start of the school transfer process.
In addition to Omaha, other school districts across the country are also changing their policies to remove references to sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion from their handbooks. In Texas, the board of education of the Carroll Independent District voted to remove these terms from its student code.
The comments phase for the amendment ended on December 12. During the public comments period, 13 individuals spoke against the proposal, which they claimed would target non-Christian, non-gender, and non-binary identities. However, several people voiced their support for the amendment.
During the public comments portion, Juan Saldivar, a Carroll Independent District parent, said that the testimony presented during the meeting had been misleading. He noted that the new policy did not eliminate any protections for individuals. Instead, it merely stated that the school was following the law.
The board voted to adopt the amendment on December 19. With a final vote of 5-1, the school board decided to implement the new policy in the district's 10 schools. Despite the controversy surrounding the new policy, a survey conducted in September revealed that a majority of Americans support adopting new approaches to addressing sexual issues.
A survey conducted by the New York Times and the Sinen Group revealed that 70% of voters were against the introduction of sexual orientation or gender identity to elementary school students. The poll also showed that most of the public was less concerned about the issue affecting middle and high schools students.
In Pennsylvania, the Central Bucks School District also followed the findings of the survey. On December 19, a committee of the board voted to approve policy 321, which restricted the types of displays that can be shown in the schools. These include political, religious, and sociopolitical statements.
The approval of the policy was initially delayed by an investigation, which was carried out by the American Civil Liberties Union. According to the newspaper, the group's investigators claimed that the school had attempted to suppress discussions about gender identity or sexuality. In the new version, the terms gender identity, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation were removed from the policy.
According to the policy, the goal of the school is to create a welcoming and neutral environment for all students. It also states that employees should not be able to advocate for their political or social beliefs during assigned work hours.
The Carroll Independent School District, the Omaha Archdiocese, and the Central Bucks School Board did not respond to requests for comment.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Daily Caller.