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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Cross-dressing May Not Change District Policy

[ST. LOUIS, MO] - After weeks of debate, the Francis Howell School Board may take no action regarding the father who dressed as a woman while chaperoning his fourth-grade daughter's field trip.

Sources said School Board members were reviewing a draft of an official statement. The gist of the statement is that the district already has regulations that can prevent disruptions to the classroom, and most board members don't believe the policies need to be changed.

But Superintendent Dan O'Donnell said the School Board had not reached consensus as of Tuesday night, and a final draft would be voted on at the board's meeting Jan. 16.

O'Donnell said the board began with a statement that basically said the district did not need to change its current policies.

"There is some disagreement among individual board members," he said. "They have to get together, and I can't release anything until they come to at least some basic consensus."

On Oct. 18, a father who has dressed in public as a woman for several years was a chaperon on a fourth-grade field trip to Jefferson City.

Public debate didn't begin until Nov. 21, when another parent brought the matter before the School Board. Some parents have asked the School Board to develop guidelines for conduct and dress for chaperons on field trips and at school parties, and for volunteers working in the schools.

Others have said the father has been involved at the school for several years without incident and should be left alone.

Administrators said the man had not intended to cause a major debate. The father has declined to speak with the Post-Dispatch.

O'Donnell said the School Board has had closed-session discussions regarding school employees and they way they have handled the situation. The School Board then asked him and the district's attorney to draft a statement.

"We're down to the fine-tuning stages," he said.

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