Pattonville School Board members are being asked to support changes in the district's equal opportunity policy regarding sexual orientation.
At the board's meeting April 12, more than 30 people stood in support of six speakers who read anonymous letters from teachers who did not feel comfortable addressing the board due to their sexual orientation.
Pattonville's Equal Opportunity policy currently states: "It is the policy of the district to afford equal employment opportunity to qualified individuals regardless of their race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, age, disability, veteran status, or to the extent required by all applicable laws. The policy of equal opportunity applies to recruitment, selection, placement, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, and termination."
Reached Thursday, Pattonville Superintendent Dr. Michael Fulton told Patch the matter is part of an ongoing dialogue with the Pattonville National Education Association. Fulton said the language has been a discussion point for several years but that the PNEA's proposal about it came up in March.
Fulton said the issue of one's sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation was added to the district's policy against harassment within the last few years. With or without the language, Fulton said sexual orientation does not play a role in the employment process.
"It does not factor into our hiring of anyone," Fulton said.
Another meeting between the district and PNEA representatives is scheduled for later this month, according to Fulton. He added that this negotiation is not part of the larger teacher's union contract with the district.