“We came here to dissent, and this is our house, we’re going to dissent.”
Virginia’s Loudoun County school board held a meeting to address new transgender policies, including restrooms, privacy, and using a student’s preferred pronouns:
The embattled school board of Virginia’s Loudoun County cut off public comment during a fiery meeting Tuesday as residents traded barbs over new transgender policy proposals Tuesday following weeks of protests from district parents opposed to some of the measures, which they have criticized as potential left-wing indoctrination and a violation of parental rights.
The policies affect transgender student rights, privacy and restroom accommodations and would require Loudoun County Public Schools employees to use students’ preferred names or pronouns. An official school board vote on the proposal is not expected until at least Aug. 10.
But it has become a hot-button issue in the district, where 259 residents signed up to speak during the public comment session Tuesday and people lined up at the doors early to get seats in the packed auditorium.
The transgender policy was the main topic, but parents brought up other issues. Those include Critical Race Theory and allegations of one district official making “threatening Internet searches on a district smartphone.” From Fox News:
Multiple parents asked the district to drop its appeal of a court order to reinstate teacher Tanner Cross, who was suspended after speaking out publicly against the proposal. They argued that fighting the judge is a waste of taxpayers’ money and doomed to fail.
Former state Sen. Dick Black, a Republican, excoriated the board over its treatment of Cross and allegations that progressive community members had organized a list of their conservative neighbors to harass and publicly shame. The chamber erupted in cheers, prompting the board to vote 9-0 to end public comment for the rest of the meeting – which led to loud chants of “Shame on you” directed at the board and demands that members resign.
Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan called for a recess five minutes into the public comment portion due to outbursts. She tried to keep the crowd calm after that, but nothing worked:
After an unruly public comment session was halted by the School Board Tuesday night, chaos and a brawl ensued between members of the public, and Loudoun deputies were called to clear the room leading to two arrests.
Over 300 people packed the board room, many of them objecting to proposed Policy 8040, which protects the rights of transgender students. The board was scheduled discuss the policy, which is required by state law, later in the meeting in anticipation of a vote on Aug. 10.
NOTE: We previously quoted reporting from Loudoun Now. They now have added this correction: “This article was updated at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday with a correction about arrests. A previous version incorrectly stated Ted Sjurseth had been detained.” We have removed that prior quote from Loudoun Now and substituted a new quote from the updated article. We also have removed links to three tweets and changed the title of this post.]
— Ian Prior (@iandprior) June 22, 2021
WOW: Moments ago, the Loudoun County school board abruptly cut off the public comment portion of the board meeting, which was set to go another couple of hours at least, after taking withering criticism from parents and citizens: pic.twitter.com/W51PxuiBOq
— John Cooper (@thejcoop) June 22, 2021
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