BP 5171 – Sexual Orientation
The Governing Board of the Oakland Unified School District is committed to addressing the safety needs of all students and staff including needs related to actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. The District is committed to maintaining a discrimination-free learning environment which teaches respect for all people, including those who do not conform to traditional sex role stereotypes. The District acknowledges that sexual minority youth, who frequently lack positive role models, experience disproportionately higher rates of suicides and school dropouts.
The District has a professional duty and obligation to understand the unique differences of its diverse student and staff population and to address its educational, emotional and social needs. Students shall be assured they need not endure any form of harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity which impairs their educational environment or emotional well-being at school. They shall be informed that they should promptly contact the principal or designee if they experience such discrimination.
The District acknowledges that a key element in a sound educational program is providing students with an understanding and appreciation of the differences of others. The District seeks to assure students and their family members and caregivers that their needs related to sexual orientation and gender identity will be addressed in a forthright and sensitive manner.
The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that students receive age-appropriate information and education related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The District will implement staff development programs for all school employees and address the needs of students and staff related to sexual orientation and gender identity. In accordance with District policy and state law, all schools will develop a site-specific plan for addressing issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. The plan will include staff development for all school employees and the development of resources and education for students.
The District has zero tolerance for slurs and harassment related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Violations of this policy may result in discipline, up to and including suspension and expulsion or termination. Any persons who are not employees or students at the school (e.g., parents, visiting speakers or members of a visiting athletic team) who violate this policy shall be subject to immediate and appropriate corrective action depending on the level of control the District has over the offender.
The District prohibits retaliation against any complainant or participant in the complaint process. Information relating to a complaint of discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity shall be confidential to the extent possible. Individuals involved in the investigation of such a complaint shall be instructed to not discuss related information outside of the investigation process.
The District will establish staffing for permanent and on-going support services related to sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Curricula and materials will be developed and implemented which address the issues of this underserved population. All schools will be provided with training in the use of these curricula and materials.
The District will adopt personnel policies that are sensitive to sexual orientation and gender identity to ensure employment protection for all staff members.