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N.D. college
board approves gay-inclusive antiharassment policy

N.D. college
board approves gay-inclusive antiharassment policy

North Dakota's board of higher education has ordered the system's colleges to review their antiharassment policies, which must include a ban on harassing someone because of his or her sexual orientation. The sexual orientation provision is not required by federal or state law, said Pat Seaworth, the university system's lawyer. However, some of the system's 11 campuses have it, and the policy should be uniform among schools, Seaworth said. The board's earlier policy, approved in June 1996, said campus policies must specifically prohibit sexual harassment. The new document, adopted Thursday at the board's meeting at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, said campus policies must prohibit harassment "that may be sexual, racial, based on gender, national origin, age, disability, religion, or a person's sexual orientation." Under the change, the board's central office in Bismarck also must have an antiharassment policy. The earlier document applied only to the university system's campuses. Board members voted 7-0 on Thursday to adopt the new policy. There was no debate. Seaworth said most of the proscribed harassment already is banned by federal or state law, but the law does not address harassment of someone for sexual orientation. "It provides a remedy for students, or others, who believe they have been unfairly or unlawfully singled out for disparaging or abusive treatment," Seaworth said. (AP)

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