Bentonville School District Considers Expanding Employee Anti-Discrimination Policy

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM)- The Bentonville School District is considering expanding its employee anti-discrimination policy beyond what’s already required by state law.

“We are looking at how we want to treat our employees,” Superintendent Michael Poore said. “Do we expand our current policy to possibly create increased protected classes?”

Currently Arkansas law requires employers to have anti-discrimination protections regarding race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The proposed policy change in the Bentonville School District would broaden those protections to include gay and transgender people, as well as other groups like veterans.

According to Poore, discrimination has not been an issue in the district.

“We have a great district,” he said. “We have great employees and we have really great families. We have never had a discrimination-type situation since I’ve been here.”

Poore said the policy change proposal is still in its early stages and he plans to spend the next couple of weeks doing research.

“I’m looking at everything from policies from other school district, policies at school districts outside of the state as well,” he said. “And then trying to get legal advice to bring recommendations to the [school] board at the May pre-agenda [meeting].”

Poore said he encourages the public to attend the meeting on May 4 to comment on the proposed policy changes.