"I just think that our policy needs to be visionary and inclusive of everybody,” Watson said.
Tammy Carter, general counsel for the Oklahoma City School District, said the change in policy was necessitated by the federal Matthew Shepard Act, a law passed in October that added both sexual orientation and gender identity to a list of protected classes under the hate-crime law.
"Courts have begun to hold school districts that fail to protect students from discrimination ... liable for violating constitutional rights,” Carter said.
The board waived its rules Monday to hear the proposed change to the harassment and bullying policy without the required 30 days of advertisement. Watson and Shafer voted against waiving the rules.
Horning said the rules were waived because it was a sensitive issue with "nothing to profit us by extending the debate on the policy beyond tonight.”