Leander ISD board adopts policy to add employee protections against discrimination

lisd-meet
The Leander ISD board of trustees met Nov. 5 for its regular meeting. (Screenshot courtesy Leander ISD)

The Leander ISD board of trustees met Nov. 5 for its regular meeting. (Screenshot courtesy Leander ISD)

Leander ISD’s board of trustees voted Nov. 5 to adopt a discrimination policy that protects employees under new Title IX regulations.

LISD's policy review subcommittee and administration recommended the adoption of the Texas Association of School Boards-initiated policy update 115. The update protects employees from discrimination or firing on the basis of homosexuality or transgender status. This only applies to district employees and does not include students.

LISD general counsel Shawn Swisher said the change is reflective of the changes from the U.S. Department of Education.

Many Nov. 5 public speakers addressed issues of inclusivity and legal issues with the policy adoption. Board member Jim MacKay said the district needs to come to terms with some of the other issues discussed by the public.

“This is one piece of a policy that adds protections for employees, and it brings us into alignment with current law,” MacKay said. “How do we not approve that?”


MacKay said through community conversations, there are identified areas that need to be looked at. He said he will bring up items, such as reading lists, to the board in the future.

Additionally, the district chose to not adopt a policy update related to University Interscholastic League activities, specifically related to travel and overnight travel.

Swisher said the district and subcommittee recommended rejecting the change, retaining the current policy and reviewing the policy at a later date. He said the TASB proposed the elimination of the policy because other policies covered the content, but the subcommittee disagreed with the change.

Board member Elexis Grimes said her biggest concern was the Texas Education Agency bringing the district out of its lane of local control. She said it did not feel like an easy, “black-and-white” decision.

“For me, it was a little more black and white in that it was protections for our staff. Our employees were asking for this,” board member Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia said. “The discussion and this language was based on policy.”
By Taylor Girtman
After interning with Community Impact Newspaper in 2019, Taylor Girtman became a reporter for the Cedar Park and Leander edition in February 2020.


MOST RECENT

Recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine wait after receiving their shot at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin on March 13. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
National supply issues with Johnson & Johnson vaccine affect Austin-area shipments

After a manufacturing error ruined 15 million doses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the supply will not increase until the plant in Baltimore is once again allowed to participate in production.

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County reported more than 250 new COVID-19 cases April 9-11

Here are the most recent coronavirus updates from Williamson County.

The studio celebrated its grand opening April 11. (Courtesy Müv Dance & Fitness)
Müv Dance & Fitness now open in Leander

The studio celebrated its grand opening April 11.

Romeo's Pizza held its Georgetown groundbreaking April 6. (Courtesy Romeo's Pizza)
Romeo's Pizza coming to Georgetown; Vacancy Brewing opens in South Austin and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from the Central Texas area.

Austin Public Health holds a vaccination clinic at the Delco Activity Center in Northeast Austin. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Coronavirus updates from Austin, Travis County; governor bans 'vaccine passports' and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular business and community news from the past week from Central Texas.

Williamson County added more than 200 new COVID-19 cases April 5-7. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds more than 200 new COVID-19 cases April 5-7

Here is what you need to know today about COVID-19 in Williamson County.

Amenities include coworking spaces, a pool courtyard, a resident coffee bar and a fitness center. (Courtesy StreetLights Residential)
377-unit multifamily development under construction in Northwest Austin

The Lakeline-area project is expected to be complete in October.

Harmful blue-green algae found in Highland Lakes

Blue-green algae has been found in three Highland Lakes and 10 locations around Lake Travis.

Harmful blue-green algae continues to be present within the Highland Lakes chain. (Greg Perliski/Community Impact Newspaper)
‘Our 'new normal' is to treat all algae with caution’: LCRA confirms toxic blue-green algae still present in Highland Lakes

According to LCRA’s April 6 update, every test taken since late February has tested positive for cyanotoxins, and the LCRA is strongly urging pet owners to keep their dogs from playing in the Highland Lakes chain.

The ARC Cedar Park clinic is regularly open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays for regular family medicine, internal medicine and pediatric care. (Courtesy Austin Regional Clinic)
Austin Regional Clinic relocates Cedar Park after-hours clinic

The after-hours urgent care clinic moved buildings April 1.