District legal counsel will address minor language changes.
By Kyle R. Cotton
The Alamo College’s board unanimously approved in Tuesday’s regular board meeting amendments to allow equality among students and faculty regardless of demographic, sexual orientation or gender identity.
However, problems with certain language in the amendments to policies H.1.1, H.1.2 will have the Alamo College’s legal counsel editing the approved redline version of those policies.
At Citizen’s to be Heard, David Pylar, former board member of Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio pointed out sections of redlined policy changes to H.1.2, civil rights discrimination, harassment and retaliation, where transgender status was mentioned in one section of the policy change but not in others.
Pylar said he didn’t know if the decision to leave transgender status out in certain sections was intentional or not, but wanted to make sure the language was clear and thanked the board for making changes for better representation for students and faculty.
The board approved the policy unanimously, but asked the legal counsel to make sure the language was consistent with the policy revisions intent with H.1.2.
This on top of the previous week where H.1.1 had a sentence that could be misconstrued as merit that said, “We are further committed to hire the best-qualified person to fill each available position and reward each employee based on his or her job performance.”
After the meeting District 9 trustee James Rindfuss asked for a clarification to the sentence in H.1.1. from district counsel Ross Laughead to make sure there would be no misunderstanding.
Laughead said they may eliminate the sentence altogether.
Laughead said the board only has to oversee major policy changes and something like this would probably not need to come back to the board as the district’s legal counsel is allowed to take care of minor edits.
Laughead said even if they wanted to move to a merit pay system they wouldn’t be able to.
“There is only so much in the pot for everyone, so if we raised one person’s pay, everyone else would have to go down with it and that would incite a revolution,” Laughead said.
Laughead said the policy as whole is good and just needs minor tweeks.
District 8 trustee Clint Kingsbery who was one of the leaders of making the policy change happen said, “The Alamo Colleges is about equal opportunity for everybody and our policy should reflect that so regardless of their background or identity they feel welcomed.”
Kingsbery said that anything in policy that could be misconstrued was not the board’s intent.