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Brevard School Board passes rules to prevent LGBT discrimination

In a 3-2 vote this month, the Brevard County School Board has passed a non-discrimination policy that will help gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teachers, staff, and students. The policy will prevent the employment discrimination of both school employees and students and it is made up of three primary components: an overhaul of anti-harassment rules, grievance procedures, and equal employment rules.

Supporters of the new policy were in the audience on one side of the venue during the vote wearing read. Meanwhile, opponents sat on the opposite side and held signs that said, "Vote No." The audience cheered, clapped, and jeered different speakers.

One science teacher from Heritage High, who initially proposed the new LGBT policy back in 2014, said that he was happy about the outcome and he felt better being an openly gay employee of the school system. He said that he is excited that teachers will begin the next school year with the new policy. It gives them the ability to make different decision in the best interest of his students without the worry that he will lose his job. For example, he says that he will now be able to support a gay-straight alliance club at his school. Another individual commented that the policy was urgently needed to protect LGBT individuals from harassment and bullying.

The new policy measures will assist LGBT employees of the school system in asserting their legal rights in court if they are victimized by discrimination, bullying, or wrongful termination as a result of being LGBT. Indeed, not only are state and federal laws considered in such lawsuits, but school board policies and rules can also be used to support such claims in court.

Source: Florida Today, "Brevard School Board passes LGBT non-discrimination policy," Ilana Kowarski, July 19, 2016

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