Colorado Springs School District 11 Board Votes YES to Keeping All Students Safe in School
Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Directors voted June 13 to include gender expression, gender identity and transgender status, as well as sexual orientation, in anti-discrimination and harassment policies pertaining to students and staff.
Inside Out Youth Services knows this is a crucial step in creating safer more welcoming schools for all students. Research shows such inclusive anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies help students feel safer, reduce truancy and increase student achievement.
The policy change brings D11 — the largest in the Pikes Peak Region with around 30,000 students in 60 schools — into alignment with anti-bullying law HB1254 passed over a year ago. (A recent survey by ONE-Colorado found only one-third of the state’s districts have yet to revise policies pertaining to the law.)
Leading the way on this critical issue were school board members Jan Tanner and Nora Brown. Six out of seven members voted YES to include the gender expression/identity and transgender status language.
Members of the Pikes Peak Safe @ School Coalition, convened at Inside Out Youth Services, worked with the school district’s board and staff providing input on the policy. The coalition activated space where parents, students and other community members could speak up about the real harassment faced by LGBT students, including those who regardless of sexual orientation are bullied because their gender expression or gender identity is outside societal expectations.
We want to thank District 11 School Board members who voted YES to this important step in the fight against harassment and violence.
Every student deserves to be safe at school!