FISHERS, Ind. — It was a 5-to-2 vote in favor of a new non-discrimination policy by the Hamilton Southeastern School Board Wednesday.
The new policy clear states that a student cannot be discriminated against based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or race. The original policy had left the words “gender identity” out of its language.
“I’ve been outspoken about this policy for many reasons, and I still don’t like it,” said school board member Brad Boyer. “Nor do I think it is necessary because we do not have a discrimination problem.”
Boyer likened the policy to correcting a problem that doesn’t exist, which he called a waste of the school district’s time and resources. However, Boyer ended up being one of the members voting to approve the measure.
Amanda Shera and Sylvia Shepler voted against adopting the updated nondiscrimination policy. Shepler argues singling out specific groups of people for protection “fails to protect the dignity and worth of all in a targeted and effective way.”
Before voting on the policy, Shera proposed a “conscience clause” amendment. The measure was introduced to protect against what she referred to as “compelled speech.”
Many felt the amendment felt that was push to make it so teachers do not have to call students by their preferred name in the event that student is transgender, so the amendment was voted down.
“I think we took an important step forward tonight,” a parent said on his way out of the meeting. “But it’s concerning that some people feel so differently about it.”
(PHOTO: ScreenCap of HSE School Board Live Stream)