THE SCHOOL REFORM Commission unanimously approved the revised Code of Student Conduct on Thursday night but added a resolution on language regarding nonconforming gender identities to be included under the dress-code/uniform policy.
Fred Ginyard, an organizer for Youth United for Change, sent an email Tuesday to the SRC asking for such language to be included in the new code. Under current rules, transgendered students or those nonconforming to their genders "can be disciplined for expressing their preferred gender identity," Ginyard said in his email.
SRC Chairman Pedro Ramos said the language proposed by Ginyard sounded easy enough to include, but he wanted the appropriate district departments to review and vet the phrasing.
At an earlier meeting Thursday, Ramos said, an attendee asserted that the district should wait until next year to include the wording.
"I'm inclined, if my colleagues indulge me, to not wait until next year. I know there may be some logistical issues . . . but I don't think that we should move forward knowing that there is an issue that sounds relatively easy to address," Ramos said.
An estimated 30 students in attendance Thursday night from Youth United for Change, wearing red T-shirts, gave Ramos a round of applause for his remarks.
The new code of conduct also places less emphasis on zero-tolerance punishment and allows for more flexibility in determining consequences for a range of offenses. Students cannot get out-of-school suspensions for minor infractions such as profanity, inappropriate use of electronic devices or public displays of affection.
Greg Shannon, deputy chief for student discipline, hearings and expulsions, who worked with the SRC and the community to revise the code, said one theme was prevalent when he spoke with the school community.
"We needed options in regard to the one-size-fits-all model" of punishment for most infractions, he said. "We heard that in an overwhelming manner."
In other SRC-related news, the board voted to change the name of Kensington Culinary Arts High School to Kensington Health Sciences Academy.