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UPDATE: Smaller than normal crowd at gender diversity meeting

Posted at 11:13 PM, Mar 28, 2018

UPDATE MARCH 30: The Department of Education held its gender diversity meeting Friday even though many parents expressed concern about the timing of the meeting. 

The department spent hours discussing the gender diversity policy, but made no decision about it during this meeting. 

The controversial issue has typically drawn hundreds of parents, teachers and students to similar meetings. 

Friday's meeting drew a noticeably smaller crowd, with only about 20 people at the Silverado High School location. 

"For a lot of people, this is a religious holiday," says one parent. 

The meeting was set on a holiday weekend when many families are away on Spring Break. 

13 Action News spoke with parents who were able to attend. Some said they skipped out on Good Friday services in order to be at the meeting. 

"It cut into a lot of things I would normally be doing today, but the issue is worth it," says CCSD parent, Jamie Brooks. 

ORIGINAL: Some parents are questioning the decision making that led to a meeting to approve a controversial policy being scheduled for Good Friday when many families head out of town to visit family.

The anger building just days before the Nevada Department of Education is set to consider a policy aimed at protecting transgender and gender diverse students from bullying.

A similar discussion of a potential policy by the Clark County School District's Board of Trustees last week drew several hundred parents and students.

UPDATE: CCSD to draft policy that protects gender diverse students

Both CCSD and the Board of Education are discussing the policy required under a new state law that took effect over the summer.

Erin Phillips with Power 2 Parent has been at most of the meetings concerning the topic and says the Good Friday meeting doesn't seem right.

"For a lot of people this is a religious holiday," Phillips said. "It doesn't show or communicate a lot of transparency or a willingness to bring parents into the conversation."

When reached for comment the Department of Education said the state agency observes state holidays and does not get time off for spring break or religious holidays.

A spokesperson adding leaders didn't even notice the meeting date was Good Friday until people started complaining on Monday.

"Honestly there was no thought about who was going to be on break or what holiday it might be. It was about this is our next step we are trying to meet our statutory obligation," Amber Reid said.

Regardless of whether the holiday meeting was an oversight or not, Phillips said it could leave parents in the state's two largest school districts on the sidelines.

"We have the fifth largest school district in the country and the two largest districts in the state that are on a break," Phillips said.

Reid said that isn't the case because those who can not make Friday's meeting can email their comments to the board at NDEINFO@DOE.NV.GOV

The DOE spokesperson also pointed to the fact the board's potential approval would not be the final step in the process, saying parents will still have the opportunity to speak before state lawmakers when they take up the policy eventually passed by the DOE board.

When it came to the subject of postponing the meeting to avoid the conflict with the holiday, the spokesperson said it wasn't a consideration because it would delay the process of getting the state in line with the law that took effect this summer.

"For us to reschedule this meeting would put us back significantly for adopting the draft language," Reid said.

For those interested in attending the meeting, it is being video conferenced to three locations beginning at 11 a.m.

  • Department of Education - 9890 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas
  • Department of Education - 700 E. Fifth St., Carson City
  • Silverado High School - 1650 Silver Hawk Ave., Las Vegas