FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – May 4, 2015 – NWA Center for Equality issued the following statement after the Bentonville School District failed to pass an updated non-discrimination policy that would include sexual orientation. Similar protections are in place at the University of Arkansas and local school districts across the country.
“Less than 24 hours before hosting a high profile film festival that celebrates diversity, Bentonville is reminding the world that inequality is reality in Northwest Arkansas. It is disheartening that the Bentonville School District could not update an antiquated policy and protect all employees equally, just as the University of Arkansas and other school districts have done.
Like all teachers, local LGBTQ teachers are talented professionals committed to helping Bentonville students succeed. How much longer must they wait before receiving the same basic protections as their straight colleagues? Superintendent Michael Poore’s suggestion that updating a local school district policy requires a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is ridiculous and insulting. This vote reinforces that some teachers committed to educating Bentonville’s youth remain a second class in the eyes of the school district and at risk for discrimination.
We are grateful for Grant Lightle, who proposed this long overdue update of the district’s non-discrimination policy and the fair minded board members who voted in support of it.”
About NWW Center for Equality
The NWA Center for Equality is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which leads a grassroots support and advocacy movement working to achieve full equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community in Northwest Arkansas. More information is available at nwaequality.org.