It is clear that the superintendent of Fayette County, Dr. Joseph Barrow, is taking steps in the right direction to make the schools more inclusive, but why wouldn’t he be starting with the policy against discrimination?
I wrote a story recently for The Prowler (https://www.theprowlernews.org/opinion/2017/05/30/gay-safe-stickers-put-students-minds-at-ease-so-everyone-can-succeed/) bringing light to how the Fayette County Board of Education Code of Conduct states that there is to be no discrimination against someone because of their “race, national origin, sex, or handicap.”
This means that it allows discrimination against sexuality or gender, which contradicts Barrow’s more inclusive school environment movement.
I understand why Barrow is educating the nurses first because the school system must be educated about the subject to be able to make smart progressive actions to make the schools more inclusive, but much like the civil rights movement and the feminist movement, legal change comes before social change. Much like how as soon as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Rights Amendment, LGBTQ+ students need to be safe legally so that society can progress faster.
Since Barrow is starting to make these changes, what will start changing next? Prioritizing who needs to be informed about the situation will be difficult. On one hand, the students should be taught about the LGBTQ+ community because they are the ones it will have the most impact on, but then the lack of reliably informed parents might create unnecessary conflict between the child and parents.
Society must change but going about those changes is a slow and difficult process.
I hope many changes will be made in the years to come to make the Fayette County School System more inclusive to everyone, but in order to start that movement the school system’s Code of Conduct must change.
Peachtree City, Ga.