Below are the news briefs from the Leon County School Board meeting that took place on January 24, 2022.
The school board approved and passed revisions to the Leon County Schools (LCS) Inclusive School Guide for LCS Employees. The passing of the agenda item did not come without debate and discussion, and it occupied most of the board meeting. Multiple citizens came and expressed their support for the guide and Superintendent Rocky Hanna rose and also offered his support for the guide.
However, Hanna added an amendment to the current edition of the guide that would strike, “A recent federal appellate court decision upheld a Florida school district’s policy to separate bathrooms based on biological sex at birth with reasonable accommodations.”
Hanna stated the reason for removing this language was that it is inconsequential to the guide that will eventually be used by teachers and staff. The school district’s attorney noted that in previous revisions of the guide, other examples of legal cases were also removed and said removing this language fell in line with the same spirit of previous removals.
During debate over the guide, recently elected School Board Member Laurie Lawson Cox expressed that she was very concerned with the prospect of transgenderism and gender identity making their way into LCS’ schools including in bathroom preferences. She also noted that constituents were expressing similar concerns when she was on the campaign trail.
School Board Member Roseanne Wood said during debate that she appreciates Cox for her sharing her perspective, but that her experience working with transgender kids throughout her career has informed her support for the guide and how “there is a group of kids out there that need special protection.” Wood insisted that transgender bathroom policies are not a big issue after she spoke with numerous principals in the district.
Wood finalized some of her comments by saying she feels LCS is being forced to do this by direction of the state.
The board also approved a number of agenda items including approving a professional architectural consulting services contract with Hoy+Stark Architects, P.A. for Leon High School, Building 7. The total cost of remodeling and renovations will total $426,070. Similarly, Hoy+Stark Architects, P.A. was awarded a contract for a cafeteria replacement project at Hartsfield Elementary School. That contract totals $ 319,664.63.
The board approved giving a contract to Eli Roberts & Son’s, Inc. – Fuel Delivery Services totaling $2.5 million. The contract can be viewed here.
The full meeting can be viewed here.