Monday's open line and a video news roundup. Also, equal rights in Bentonville | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday's open line and a video news roundup. Also, equal rights in Bentonville

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2015 at 2:45 PM

Here's an open line for Monday, plus the video news roundup. ALSo:

* EQUAL RIGHTS IN BENTONVILLE: The Bentonville School Board may vote tonight on a controversial non-discrimination policy hotly contested by religious conservatives who don't want to explicitly extend equal employment protection to gay people or, apparently, to provide additional protection against bullying of gay children. A supporter of the measure is going to be absent because of a previously scheduled trip and another expected supporter resigned from the school board today, which probably signals bad news for supporters of equal treatment under the law. Win or lose, there are some issues bubbling in the district that could keep the issue alive. By federal guidelines, discrimination against employees on grounds of sexual orientation isn't legal, no matter what the "good Christians" of Bentonville might believe. Supporters of equal rights are also working to defeat one of the staunchest anti-gay board members in her re-election bid.

UPDATE: A report from 40/20 indicates Superintendent Michael Poore seems to have attempted to pre-empt the issue by saying the Bentonville schools have adequate policies against discrimination and bullying and doesn't need to adopt a broader policy. Whether that's his place to make that final determination or not, I can't say.

Bentonville's Superintendent released a statement Monday regarding the school district's employment policy to protect gay employees from discrimination.

In a statement Poore writes, "the District clearly does not allow discrimination of any kind based on sexual orientation. With respect to discrimination of our staff or students based on sexual orientation, we feel no new policies are needed, and appropriate protections are already in place:"

The District already has a policy against discrimination based on sex, and the EEOC interprets sexual orientation discrimination as a form of sex discrimination; as such, we already have the appropriate policy in place
The District does have a robust bullying policy already in place that protects the dignity of all students of all classes

The group advocating for the new policy Tweets from the meeting that Poore DID say all same-sex couples would be treated equally as to benefits. Nice of him to acknowledge the U.S. Constitution.

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