The North Carolina state school board has adopted new training standards for school counselors and social workers that opt for a broad definition of student diversity over more explicit language.
The standards, approved Nov. 3, are a framework for college and university programs that prepare people for those jobs. The board had considered the more specific wording at the request of counselors and social workers who helped draft the standards, which are revised every seven years.
Proponents of the language, which would have defined diversity “with respect to race, creed, color, sex role orientation, national origin, and handicapping condition,” said it would help ensure that school personnel were better prepared to help students with a range of issues, including those of sexuality. The board shortened the standard, which now says candidates are expected to be able to “explain the nature of and factors influencing discrimination against a person on the basis of human diversity.”
At least one conservative organization, the North Carolina Family Policy Council, lobbied against the original measure, claiming it “could have led to the affirmation of harmful sexual behaviors.”