Chesapeake School Board Updates Nondiscrimination Policy

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Chesapeake School Board has changed its nondiscrimination policy, adding protections to ensure students and faculty are treated equally regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The board voted unanimously Monday to approve revisions to its current nondiscrimination policy, WAVY-TV reported.

State law required school boards to pass policies to protect students who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth by the start of the school year. But last month, proposed changes didn’t even make it to a vote before Chesapeake's board. One board member made a motion to consider the policy, but it failed when no one seconded the motion.

The new changes are not the same as the model policy, a guideline for districts to follow, but they do strengthen the division’s current protections and align with requirements by state law to include non-discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

The term “inclusivity” was added to the policy. School officials say the revisions will set the foundation for more protections for students and staff in the future. The district’s policy has not been amended since 2013.