Late Wednesday evening, the Loudoun County School Board in northern Virginia voted in a landslide to approve a controversial new policy allowing “transgender” students to use the restrooms and locker rooms of their choice, as reported by Fox News.
The nine-member board ultimately voted in favor of the policy by a margin of 7-2, even though the overwhelming majority of parents were against the policy. After the policy was approved, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) released a statement in support of the change, declaring that the district’s “number one priority is to foster the success of all students and ensure they feel safe, secure, accepted, and ready to learn at school.”
The newly-approved proposal, Policy 8040, demands that teachers refer to “transgender” students by their preferred pronouns rather than their actual pronouns, while also permitting such students to participate in sports and athletic teams of their choice, even if they are of the opposite gender of the rest of the team. Additionally and most controversially, the policy allows students to use restrooms and locker rooms of their choice, in accordance with their “consistently assorted gender identity.”
One of the two board members who voted against the policy, Jeff Morse, criticized the new policy as politically-motivated and irrelevant to education, saying that “the policy is not needed,” and it “does not solve the issues that it’s purported to solve. The policy has forced our focus out of education, and I will not support it.”
The meeting on Wednesday was the result of the postponement of the original vote scheduled for Tuesday. At the Tuesday meeting, over 150 parents participated in the public comment portion of the meeting, which lasted for over four hours. The majority of speeches were against the policy, including one by an LCPS teacher who, in a speech that has since gone viral, announced her resignation over the policy in front of the entire board.
The Tuesday meeting saw completely revamped security protocols in comparison to previous meetings, including clearing out the actual meeting chamber itself and forcing all in attendance to wait in the parking lot or the hallways outside, complete with an organized lot number system for calling the next speaker, as well as a security team using metal detectors before each person entered. These measures were implemented after a previous meeting in June where hundreds of parents protested the board’s support of Critical Race Theory, transgenderism, and other far-left ideas. When it became clear that the protesters outnumbered the board, the board shut down the meeting early and called the police, ordering several protesters to be arrested for their political beliefs.