Friday, April 14, 2006

Kudos to Kansas’ Johnson County Community College for valuing fairness

Kudos to the Board of Trustees of the 34,000-student Johnson County Community College for voting to treat all their employees and students fairly, regardless of their sexual orientation. The college is in the richest suburban county of Kansas City.

The Kansas City Star reports:

Five months after racist and anti-gay graffiti appeared in restrooms at Johnson County Community College, the college’s trustees quietly added sexual orientation to the institution’s nondiscrimination policy.

The action at a hastily called special board meeting Monday night surprised even proponents of the change and drew criticism from a trustee who opposed the revision.

Trustees approved the policy change during the open portion of the meeting, though it was also discussed in a closed-door executive session.

“The meeting was a surprise,” said Kami Day, an associate professor at the college who had advocated that the policy be changed to protect gender identity.

“It’s a step, and a huge improvement.”

The Johnson County Sun reports that the vote was 4-1.

It probably would have been better for all concerned if the vote hadn't been hurried, but you can’t fault any organization for voting against discrimination.

Hooray for the college’s Board of Trustees for understanding the importance of treating all people fairly. The only true surprise is that it took a college until the 2006 to pass such a policy.

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