Dickson protects hate speech
If you're a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered youth in Southern California, you've probably got enough to worry about without having your school board sanction open harassment by your peers. Unfortunately, some elected officials have chosen ideological zealotry over the welfare of our children.
It happened in Westminster this year. Extreme conservative school board members decided to reject the state's guidelines protecting transgendered people from discrimination and harassment, even though doing so risked thousands of dollars. Outraged parents and community members have launched a recall effort to remove those board members who place their religiously motivated intolerance ahead of providing educational services to children.
Sad to say, we've got a similar problem here in Southwest Riverside County.
Murrieta school board President Kenneth Dickson opposes a proposed school policy which would ban harassment of students on account of race, religion, gender and sexuality.
Students are prevented from discussing important issues, Dickson told me, by these
Schools get tougher on same-sex torment
By MENSAH M. DEAN
Philadelphia school officials yesterday put more teeth into a handful of existing policies, including language to aid those who suffer sexual harassment by members of their own sex.
The anti-same-sex-discrimination language, for the first time, was inserted into the district's sexual-harassment policy for students. It has been under discussion since last year.
Also added are provisions giving students the right to call police and to take their complaints to regional superintendents if their principal is accused of sexual harassment.
Those changes were approved 4-0 by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, as were the following:
SIUC GRANTS HEALTH BENEFITS TO GAY COUPLES
BY CALEB HALE
CARBONDALE -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will extend medical benefits to gay and lesbian employees Sept. 1, a statement from the university released Wednesday said.
The statement, e-mailed to local media about 4:30 p.m., said SIUC "amended its 11-year-old domestic partnership policy to cover partial costs of health and dental care premiums purchased privately by employees to cover their same-sex domestic partners and their partners' children."
The statement also said the benefits will extend to tuition waivers within the SIU system. Both the Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, as well as the university system, will be consistent with the changes.
SIUC already had a same-sex domestic partner benefits extension policy with regard to sick leave, bereavement leave, family medical leave and use of campus facilities.