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Sunday, August 4, 2013
In Barbara Skinner’s commentary (“School board vote on orientation challenged,” The Burgs, July 7), she showed her desire not to accept certain differences, especially on issues of sexual orientation. This is sad commentary on the misinformation Skinner and others have. We often miss the good and dwell too much on the bad.
In Elijah Grossman’s commentary (“A welcoming workplace for everyone,” The Burgs, July 14), he asks, “ Where do I fit in?” Elijah is a transgender man who indicated that there is no federal protection against workplace discrimination. So where’s the disconnect between the commentaries supporting protection and those not? What’s missing?
Enumeration. What is enumeration? When a law or policy enumerates categories, it spells out or identifies types of individuals in groups or classes that need to be protected.
As research has shown, enumeration protects everyone and enumerated policies and laws show that people experience less bullying and feel safer overall. The strength is that people who are most likely to be bullied or harassed are protected, as well as all other people.
Enumeration that includes sexual orientation and gender identity eliminates any doubt that all LGBT persons are protected. Policies or laws with comprehensive enumeration are essential to ensure safe work environments.
Since 2010, Montgomery County Public Schools has expanded the focus and efforts around diversity and social justice. From the diversity forum to social justice experiences for employees, MCPS has established this work as a priority. I applaud and support this mission. As a matter of fact, I am proud to be a member of the MCPS social justice and diversity design team.
The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, as well as the MCPS school board, should choose to enumerate and add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the Montgomery County Equal Employment Opportunity statement.
All personnel and future hires need to be protected, as well as all of our citizens and our students.
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