Virginia Parents Fight Back Against Loudoun County School Board’s Transgender Policy

Elisabeth Nieshalla | June 23, 2021 | 1:01pm EDT
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(CNS News) -- A Loudoun County, Va., school board meeting on Tuesday was the site of a large protest against a transgender policy that ended reportedly in one arrest and one injury.

Nearly 300 parents and community members attended the meeting to speak out against the pending pro-transgender Policy 8040, Critical Race Theory, and related left-wing ideologies of the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) School Board. Some people who support the policy were also in attendance.

Loudoun County parents organized a rally outside of the LCPS Administration Building to take place prior to the meeting. A crowd wearing red gathered in solidarity against the school board and the policy.

Cathy Ruse, a lawyer and former Fairfax County School Board member said at the rally, “Loudoun County School Board is poised to impose on all families in the public school system a radical anti-science proposition that biological sex is meaningless.”

The policy, she said, “wraps itself in fake science and then shuns any true science that doesn’t further its politics.”

A smaller group of individuals supporting the Loudoun County School Board and Policy 8040 set up tents with gay pride and transgender flags across the parking lot from the rally and played loud music over the rally speakers.

Around 3:00pm, an hour prior to the start of the meeting, protestors and supporters lined up to get into the meeting. The meeting room was packed full, with anti-Policy 8040 protesters in red occupying a majority of the seats.

Upon the start of the public comments portion of the meeting, for which nearly 260 individuals signed up to speak, some parents called for Critical Race Theory to be banned from the LCPS curriculum, claiming their rights as parents to raise their children the way they choose.

Parent Elizabeth Perrin said, “It is not political, it is parental, and I absolutely refuse to co-parent with LCPS.”

Others spoke directly for or against Policy 8040, which would require teachers and staff to call students by their preferred names and pronouns, and allow these students to use the locker rooms and bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Community member Christina Croll said, “Using correct names and pronouns for transgender and non-binary kids is suicide prevention.”

Transgender woman Amber Beichler who serves as a board member of the Transgender Education Association of Greater Washington and is a graduate of LCPS, also spoke.

“I’m encouraging all on the Loudoun County School Board to adopt Policy 8040 in order to protect LGBT students in LCPS,” said Beichler. “They deserve to return in the fall to a school district that supports and protects their rights to be themselves.”

Michelle Tanis, a Loudoun County parent and sexual assault survivor, provided another perspective.

“I present to you a possible scenario that could come to a Loudoun County school near you,” said Tanis.

She went on to narrate a circumstance in which four girls are on a band trip sharing a room with only two beds, and one of the girls has a penis (a transgender female). The biological girl who has to share a bed with the “girl” who has a penis is uncomfortable with the situation. But under Policy 8040 the transgender “girl” potentially could file a civil rights lawsuit claiming “her” gender identity was not accepted.

Tanis asked the board, “What if the biological girl who has complained is a sexual assault survivor? Are you going to tell her she has to accept this situation? What about her rights to feel safe?”

At one point, the room rose in uproar at a comment made by a pro-Policy 8040 speaker who mentioned the “hate that seems to be dripping off the followers of Jesus in this room and from their kids in our schools.”

The school board immediately called a five-minute recess and, upon returning, warned that one more outburst would result in the end of the public comments section.

After several more speakers expressed their thoughts and concerns, former Virginia State Senator Dick Black approached the microphone to speak.

“You retaliated against Tanner Cross by yanking him from teaching for addressing a public hearing of this board,” said Black. “The judge ordered you to reinstate Mr. Cross because if his comments were not protected speech, then free speech does not exist at all.”

He ended by saying, “You’re teaching children to hate others because of their skin color, and you’re forcing them to lie about other kids’ gender. I am disgusted by your bigotry and your depravity.”

The room then erupted in cheers, and the school board promptly and unanimously voted to end the public comments section and exited the meeting room.

Those in attendance began chanting, “Shame on you,” and held up signs that said, “We the Parents Stand Up,” “Education not indoctrination,” and “Reinstate Tanner Cross.” Some attempted to continue the public comments section without the board.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

One man at the meeting began “acting disorderly and displayed aggressive behavior towards another attendee,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. He was arrested, and the authorities ushered everyone out of the building.

Another man was ticketed for trespassing upon refusing to leave the meeting room after school officials asked everyone to exit the building.

A third person received minor injuries, though the details on their situation have not been disclosed.

The LCPS School Board is expected to vote on Policy 8040 within the week, but they have not announced when exactly the vote will take place.

To read Policy 8040, click here

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