The Loudoun County School Board approved a measure 7–2 Wednesday that would allow transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports, among other items. The board’s two conservative members, John Beatty (Catoctin) and Jeff Morse (Dulles), voted against it.
In addition to permitting students to participate in sports that align with their gender identity, the school board’s policy requires teachers and staff to address students by their preferred pronouns. Transgender students will also be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity.
One teary female teacher stood at the podium and resigned live before the school board, explaining her disagreement with the district’s pushing political ideologies and “equity and inclusion” initiatives that violate her Christian faith. She accused the panel of silencing dissent, evidenced by the way they “shut the doors to the public” and capped the maximum commenters at ten. She also cited an informal reporting system within her school that encouraged teachers to tattle on one another for questioning the district’s policies. Her microphone was cut off before she could finish her statement.
The school board was scheduled to conduct the vote at their Tuesday meeting, but after comments and discussion from members of the community spanned nearly five hours, it was postponed to the following day.
The district has occupied the limelight for many months now, earning a reputation as a ground zero in the cultural battles between, one one hand, parents lobbying to advance progressive policies in the classroom and the administration, and, on the other, parents resisting the movement.
The tensions came to a head earlier in the year when Loudoun County Public Schools suspended physical-education teacher Tanner Cross for disagreeing with the district’s proposed transgender policy, which passed Wednesday. He was later reinstated to his position by court order.
Twelfth grade social-studies teacher Monica Gill told National Review in an interview that by steamrolling through such policies, without real conversation or debate, the district has created “a very hostile environment” that “resembles totalitarianism, not the Constitution.”