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Columbia school board voting on gender discrimination policy

Columbia school board members plan to vote Monday on whether or not to add four words and a comma to its current discrimination policy.

The current policy reads “prohibition against discrimination, harassment and retaliation.”

The change, if approved, will include “gender identity, gender expression.”

Monday’s vote comes on the heels of controversy in a small rural suburb of St. Louis, where a transgendered teen faces discrimination after she began using the woman’s locker room at school.

The town of Hillsboro is divided on the issue and three school board members there have already resigned amid the controversy.

Missouri is also one of 28 states where LBGT people can still be discriminated against in the workplace.

Columbia public schools spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark told ABC17 News whether the change passes or not, CPS has and will continue to have a nondiscrimination policy for all individuals, including transgendered people.

She said they will still protect their rights.

Also on the agenda is a presentation by superintendent Peter Stiepelman on district finances and projects.

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