Nearly a dozen people lined up at the Knox County Board of Education meeting to speak about a possible change in the district's harassment policy.
"What people were trying to clarify for the board was this isn't as simple as you think," Board Member Lynne Fugate said.
"We had employees stand up and say what it would do to them, we had students talk about how they would feel," Fugate said.
The speakers ranged from students to staff to lawyers.
They say the proposed harassment policy change means much more than just a few words.
"There are classes in this country that need explicit protection," said Dean Rivkin, professor Emeritus at the UT College of Law.
The proposed policy changes would remove language like "actual or perceived gender" and "sexual orientation" and replace them with the word "sex" in the school district's harassment policy for employees and students.
"I think these changes would likely cause more problems for the board," Rivkin said.
He said the more vague language opens the board up to more lawsuits.
"To remove these protections would compound the board's liability in discrimination cases," Rivkin said.
His argument, coupled with the other public forum speakers, helped change Fugate's mind.
Before Monday she was in favor of the change, now she says she's not so sure.
"So I'll probably reflect on that, but at this point, my hope would be that we either leave the policy alone or send it back to committee for further clarification," Fugate said.
The current policy will stay in place until the board decides to change it.
The board will vote on the change Wednesday.