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Columbia school board accepts grant for gender-affirming closet

Rock Bridge High School, Columbia, Mo.


The Columbia Public Schools Board of Education accepted a $10,000 grant on Monday to create a gender-affirming closet for some high school students.

The board approved the grant award at its Monday meeting to establish a closet for students at Rock Bridge High School that allows them to find clothing fitting of their gender identity. The money comes from the It Gets Better Project.

RBHS's Gay-Straight Alliance applied for the grant in May. The group said it hopes the closet will create a more welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ students. Success of the closet could lead to the district's three other high schools creating similar projects, the group said in its application.

The application said that about 20 percent LGBTQ+ students felt the school needed improvement in creating a welcoming environment.

The group said it would look into buying clothing for all purposes, like formal and athletic wear. It would try to get student input on what kind of clothing would be most helpful, and create book keeping programs to prevent theft from the closet.

The group planned to spend $8,000 on clothing, $1,000 on furnishings for the closet, $500 for makeup and $500 for inventory management.

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Lucas Geisler

Lucas Geisler anchors the 5 p.m. show for ABC 17 News and reports on the latest news around mid-Missouri at 9 and 10 p.m.


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