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Escambia Co School Board to make final decision on non-discrimination policy
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- Some gay rights activists want non-discrimination policies in place to protect transgender students. The Escambia County School Board is expected to make a final decision on amending its non-discrimination policy Tuesday evening.
Earlier this year, the U-S Department of Education and the Department of Justice laid out guidelines to help reduce civil complaints made from transgender students, towards school districts.
Federal law bans discrimination against transgender students in public schools under Title IX.
In Escambia County's Student's Rights and Responsibilities handbook, it already bans discrimination, but a proposed amendment would specifically include gender identity and expression.
Reverend Patrick Rogers feels this small change in the fine print will make a big difference.
"As far as gender expression for males and females, boys play with tank trucks and girls play with dolls, and if you do differently than that it can result in bullying" said Rev. Patrick Rogers, Supports Proposed Policy Change.
Rogers recalls being bullied while growing up as he dealt with his own gender expression.
"I explained that when I spoke at the last meeting, and how traumatic that was, and I can really understand how that can lead some teens to consider suicide" said Rogers.
Superintendent Malcolm Thomas says he doesn't expect opposition to the proposed change.
Caroline Peskar and her teenage daughter both want to see the School Board amend the non-discrimination policy.
"Nobody should be discriminated against, under any circumstances and all kids should be made to feel comfortable who they are" said Caroline Peskar, Parent.
"Because it's that person's choice what they want to do in life and what they want to be and not any other person's choice" said Lucinda Peskar, Student.