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While controversial pronoun policy remains tabled, some District 11 educators raise concerns

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- During the last Colorado Springs School District 11's board meeting, officials tabled a controversial pronoun policy that would prevent educators from asking students their preferred pronouns. While the policy isn't in effect, some teachers are concerned about how it would hinder them inside the classroom.

In February, board members began advocating the policy, claiming it wasn't "appropriate" for staff to ask about gender.

Board Vice President Jason Jorgenson said that if students wish to express their preferred gender pronouns to the rest of the class then they are welcome to do so. However, he believes teachers should "stay out of it." 

Students have since protested the possible policy, saying it takes away their sense of identity.

Wednesday, ahead of the board's next board meeting, KRDO spoke with Joe Schott, President of the Colorado Springs Education Association.

Schott said the type of policy would force educators to assume a student's gender identity.

"It goes back to this question of asserting what you as the person get to decide who you are," explained Schott. "I don't get to impose my beliefs on you by saying I can tell this and that about you."

District 11 staff were asked in February to write the language for the pronoun policy - but it's been on pause after all of the controversy.

"We know that our students have any number of beliefs, gender, race, the whole thing and we can't just close off part of it because of claims that some people are uncomfortable about it," said Schott.

District 11 School Board President Parth Melpakam said the policy is not on the agenda for Wednesday's meeting, but the board will discuss the policy if it's brought up during public comment.

As of right now - it's unclear how and when the pronoun policy could come back up and possibly be implemented here.

The meeting began at 4 p.m. and is expected to last through 9 p.m.

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Andrea Herrera

Andrea is an MMJ and Anchor for Telemundo Surco and KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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