We’re glad the Lynchburg News & Advance editorial board agrees. We want to see the city school board make these policy changes immediately.
From the editorial:
“With an incarceration rate of 779 per 100,000 population, Virginia ranks as one of the highest in the nation, besting the national average of 698. And according to the Prison Policy Initiative, African Americans are disproportionately affected, with an incarceration rate of 2,418 per 100,000 population and black males bearing the brunt of that.
“When a person has served his time and paid his debt to society, re-entry to society can still be problematic. Virginia, thankfully, has made great strides in the last decade in restoring civil rights to ex-felons, but many doors are still shut to them. Why can’t an ex-felon, someone not convicted of a violent crime or a sex offense, volunteer at his child’s school in Lynchburg? What is the logic of a blanket ban? The fact of the matter is that there is none. This policy change has been talked about for more than three years: It is time for the School Board to approve it.”
On non-discrimination against LGBTQ students, they write:
“Are there LGBT students and staff in Lynchburg’s schools at this moment? Absolutely. Are there students or staff members struggling with their gender identity? You bet there are. And it is the job of the School Board to ensure classroom and workplace environments are open to, inclusive of and protective of all. As some board members rightly pointed out, there are other sections of the division manual that would need to be revised if this change were to take place, but that is no reason not to take this step now. The board will discuss the proposal at its workshop today with a tentative vote set for the March 3 meeting.
“It is time to move forward on both of these issues; it is time to make our schools the inclusive institutions they should be.”