Support Student Safety Coalition to present to Metro School Board

The Support Student Safety Coalition, a group of current and former students of the Metropolitan-Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) who are working to persuade the MNPS School Board to adopt a comprehensive non-discrimination policy protecting all of its students, will present their proposal to the MNPS Board on Tuesday, April 8 at 5 p.m. 

“The students and their coalition partners have been working hard all year to build up support for a comprehensive non-discrimination policy for Metro public schools,” explained Christine Sun, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee LGBT Project, in an email. “Please consider taking an hour to come support them in their efforts. 

The coalition began their project in June 2007  along with the assistance of the LGBT Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee.

Sun said the Support Student Safety Coalition have one overriding goal, which was to ensure that all MNPS students have access to public education that is safe and free from discrimination.

Currently, MNPS has a “generic” anti-bullying policy and a public statement of non-discrimination that does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Nashville has fallen behind other Tennessee cities in promoting student welfare.,” Sun said. “Unlike Nashville, both Knox County Schools and Memphis City Schools have passed comprehensive non-discrimination or anti-bullying policies that specifically protect LGBT students.”

The proposed policy that the Coalition hopes the MNPS adopts reads:

“It is the policy of the Metro Nashville Public Schools to afford all persons, regardless of their actual or perceived race, religion, color, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, or gender, including gender identity, expression, and appearance, equal rights and opportunities in all of its educational institutions.”

“This policy protects all students, gay or straight,” Sun explained. “A broad-based study in Seattle schools, for example, found that eighty percent of students harassed on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation were in fact heterosexual. The policy will also prohibit discrimination against students who don’t act  masculine or feminine enough.”

Sun asks that If you are planning on attending the MNPS meeting, please check the Support Student Safety Coalition Web site (www.supportstudentsafety.com) for updates or send an email to changemyschool@gmail.com. She added that to show your support for the project, please wear blue shirts.

Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
5 to 6 p.m.
Please arrive at 5 p.m.SHARP
Metropolitan Public Schools
2601 Bransford Avenue

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