Gender identity added to FCPS nondiscrimination list

In a contentious school board meeting Thursday night, the phrase “gender identity” was added to FCPS’s nondiscrimination policy, which already included age, race, national origin, disability and religion.

The board voted in favor of the new policy despite some opposition from the stand-only crowd.

A statement from School Board chair Tamara Derenak Kaufax said the decision’s purpose is to “provide an environment which promotes equality where every student and employee is treated with dignity and respect.”

Passing this policy allows the renewal of federal funding for FCPS, which will now be compliant with a Title IX law from 2014 that addresses sex discrimination.

It states that schools must “protect students who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”

According to Deputy Superintendent Steven Lockard, the Office of Civil Rights, a branch of the Department of Education would have had “the right to recommend the termination of federal funding to FCPS” if the school board hadn’t “amend[ed] its policy.”