KNS Interviews Grzanka about Proposed Changes to Knox Schools’ Protected Groups List

The Knoxville News Sentinel interviewed Patrick Grzanka, a member of the Tennessee Equality Project and UT assistant professor of psychology, about proposed changes to Knox County Schools’ list of protected groups under its harassment policy.

The Knox County school board reversed course after LGBT activists pushed back on a proposal to remove language explicitly protecting gay, lesbian and transgender employees from its harassment policy. The board chair insisted that all employees would still be protected under the change and that the language was only being altered to bring it in line with state laws. The proposed change would have removed the words “actual or perceived gender” and “sexual orientation” from the list of protected groups in the district’s policy and replace it with “sex.”

Grzanka said he was “horrified” to hear of the change. It is both a practical and a symbolic change that concerns him.

“We have a list of things that are protected. How would Christians feel if we took out ‘religion’ and just said ‘beliefs?'” he said. “There is something really meaningful there in exchange for biological sex. There aren’t too many logical leaps to get to point where we see why ‘sex’ would be preferable to ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘perceived gender.'”

He added that he hoped “the board will reverse course after hearing feedback from the community.” Read the full story online.