The embattled Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 on Wednesday to approve transgender guidelines that will give students who believe they are the opposite sex access to school facilities, groups, and sports teams of their biological counterparts.
The new guidelines, which take effect immediately, also mandate that teachers address their transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns, according to a report by the Washington Post.
“Tonight’s a difficult night for our community,” said conservative school board member Jeff Morse, who voted against the transgender policies, which he called “divisive, anti-family, anti-privacy,” and “anti-teacher.”
“It’s so unneeded,” Morse added. “Because if you are a [Loudoun] student today you are protected from bullying, harassment and abuse.”
In May, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) suspended gym teacher Bryon “Tanner” Cross, who at a school board meeting cited science and Christianity when opposing the policy that requires teachers agree with children’s claims that they are members of the opposite sex.
In June, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia ordered the school board to immediately reinstate the gym teacher.
Cross’ suspension nonetheless serves as an eerie foreshadowing of what is likely to come for teachers who dare dissent in the wake of the implementation of the transgender guidelines.
The school board had originally intended to vote on the transgender issue on Tuesday, but decided to postpone the affair after the public comment portion of the meeting went on for more than four hours.
During the meeting’s public comment period on Tuesday, LCPS teacher Laura Morris resigned over the district’s Critical Race Theory training program, which she said has labeled her an oppressor due to her skin color, and is pushing “highly politicized agendas” onto the county’s “most vulnerable constituents, the children.”
During her remarks, Morris also pointed out the school board’s “lack of consideration for the growing population of concerned citizens in this division, clearly evidenced by this empty room tonight where you shut the doors to the public,” and alleged that the Loudoun County superintendent told her last year that expressing a dissenting opinion “is not allowed.”
In recent months, LCPS has turned itself into a national spectacle, as concerned parents rally to recall the school board members pushing Critical Race Theory, an academic movement teaching children that the U.S. is inherently or systemically racist, and they must view every social interaction and person in terms of race in order to be “antiracist.”
LCPS interim superintendent Scott A. Ziegler insists the school system is “not teaching critical race theory,” but rather, that they are about two years into racial “equity” education, which Ziegler admits uses “common vocabulary” to Critical Race Theory, and that overlap is unavoidable.