A Virginia public school board meeting’s public comment section ended abruptly after comments erupted into a heated conversation at a meeting regarding a proposal for school transgender policies.
About 259 people signed up to speak during the board meeting’s public comment, but only 51 were able to speak.
The discussion involved a new proposed policy, Policy 8040, at Loudon County Public Schools near Washington, D.C. Under the new policy, schools would have to provide privacy and restroom accommodations for trans-identified students and would also require teachers to use students’ preferred names and pronouns.
A draft of the policy explains: “LCPS staff shall allow gender-expansive or transgender students to use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their gender identity without any substantiating evidence, regardless of the name and gender recorded in the student’s permanent educational record.”
“Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur; however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy,” the policy states.
At this week’s meeting, public comment turned to chaos when a mother of a trans-identified student said “hate” was “dripping from the followers of Jesus” in the room.
The board voted to recess and returned but then voted to end public comment when former Republican state Sen. Dick Black spoke about how a school P.E. teacher had been placed on leave for speaking out against the proposed transgender policy.
Black was referring to Byron Tanner Cross, a P.E. teacher at Leesburg Elementary School, who was placed on administrative leave after he spoke out on the policy, saying he could not “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa.”
Meanwhile, two parents were arrested after they refused to leave the room because they wanted to speak. One man was issued a trespassing summons, and the other was accused of “acting disorderly” and resisting arrest.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Skynesher
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.