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Call for change over year-old LGBTQ school policy

Posted at 11:22 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 23:22:40-04

FORT MYERS, FL — In a packed room, the Lee County School Board got an earful Tuesday.

More than 50 parents, grandparents, and people who live in the county spoke about the district's policy for LGBTQ students and staff, which has been on the books for almost a year now.

"I never knew about this until 5 days ago," said one parent.

The district held several public hearings to discuss the updated policy and parents did sign the code of conduct at the start of the current school with this policy in it.

But still many claimed they didn't know it existed and spoke for and against it during public comment.

The policy itself outlines things like using a person's preferred pronouns when addressing them.

It also says students can use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity and offers special private accommodations on a case-by-case basis, which was a sore spot for many Tuesday night.

And in the sea of adults taking on the issue, was a single student, the President of the North Fort Myers Student Council, Devon Cranford.

FOX 4 asked him how the policy was interpreted by students.

"I worry about homework, I worry about classwork, I worry about getting to school on time, I don't worry about the bathrooms, nobody worries about the bathrooms," he said, "Simply put, I am kind of exhausted by parents talking about how school is when they haven't been in 30 years."

He also tells FOX 4 that all parents, no matter where they fall on the issue, should start doing more of this:

"Listen to the kids. If they're the ones going through it, listen to what they're saying," he said.

The Lee County School Board will be holding a meeting to discuss possible changes to the code of conduct ahead of next school year on April 26 at 6 p.m.