Amid Restrictions, Speakers Again Spar Over School Transgender Policy

Antipathy among Loudoun County parents raged on during the Aug. 10 School Board meeting, as more than one hundred people signed up to address the board ahead of its vote on the controversial policy for transgender protections, which was ultimately delayed to Wednesday.

Crowds rallied ahead of the meeting, one side showing support for LGBTQ+ students, while the others protested the imminent vote, and the School Board’s efforts to improve working and learning environment for minority students and staff members.

The proposed Policy 8040 protects the rights of transgender and gender expansive students, and was drafted to comply with the General Assembly mandate that all school divisions implement such protections before the start of the 2021-2022 school year. Schools that do not adopt such a policy will be held liable for any incidents or litigation against the school districts in consequence of not providing the protections. The proposed policy entitles students to be addressed using their chosen name and pronoun, and to use gender-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender identity. The Fairfax County School Board adopted a similar policy last month.

After the unruly crowd resulted in the public being expelled during the board’s June 22 meeting, the division imposed new access rules Tuesday night. Members of the public lined up outside the schools administration building before being allowed inside in small groups to deliver their comments. There was no audience for the public comment session. The board listened to virtual comments before taking comments from people physically present, enraging some who waited outside for hours through a thunderstorm before getting a chance to address the board.

For many, the issues on the table were worth weathering the storm.

April Little, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, called for people on both sides of the issue to come together.

“I knew that there was going to be a lot of conservative folks here talking about their faith and I want to talk about mine. … All people are made in the image of God, who transcends gender … it just makes sense to me to affirm the pronouns and identities of trans and gender-expansive people,” Little said.

Charlotte McConnell said has attended every School Board meeting since 2016 to show support for LGBTQ+ and minority students.

“It’s hurtful to hear adults deny the lived experience of students who have been brave enough to say, ‘I’m tired of being called the N word or the F word’ and share their lived experiences in LCPS only to have adults say, ‘I’ve never seen racism in our schools, it doesn’t exist.’ Or, they talk about all children but not trans children,” McConnell said.

After her comment, McConnell and other pride supports spotted a rainbow outside the district’s administrative building.

“It’s a sign the 8040 should pass,” McConnell said.

Lucketts Elementary School teacher Laura Morris turned in her resignation during the public comment session, after delivering a tearful statement disagreeing with the district’s new policies.

“I’m giving up my position in a corporation that I have loved for five years, and I can’t be here anymore,” Morris told reporters. “I can’t do it.”

“A lot of the policies being talked about tonight, I’m a Christian woman and they’ve said they don’t want us here. I’ve found employment elsewhere. People that value me, people that want me and people that aren’t going to push these ideals are wrong for children.”

Morris said she has grappled with application of transgender recognition in the classrooms.

“I’ve had students who are not transgendered asking me in the classroom …  she called me over to her desk and she said, ‘a student in our grade level changed genders, does that mean it’s not certain that I’m a girl,’ and with true confusion her face,” Morris said.

Morris’s comments quickly spread across the conservative Twitter sphere, even being shared by Donald Trump Jr., former President Trump’s eldest son.

The local controversy over the policy first grabbed the attention of the nation last spring when an elementary school PE teacher said he would not affirm students with their chosen pronoun.

The district placed Byron “Tanner” Cross on administrative leave in May after his public comments sparked objections by parents of students at Leesburg Elementary School, where Cross taught. Cross, represented by the Christian group Alliance for Defending Freedom, sued for and was granted his reinstatement. The district appealed Judge James E. Plowman’s decision to grant a temporary injunction nullifying the suspension, saying it overlooked schools’ responsibilities to protect students. The appeal is before the Virginia Supreme Court.

Other parents shared their concerns about the implications of, they say, members of opposite sexes sharing bathrooms or locker rooms.

“If it’s a boy’s bathroom, it should be boys, and if it’s a girls’ bathroom it should be girls,” Dale Gilbert, a father of two students, told the board.

Nearly all of the opponents of Policy 8040 scolded the School Board. One commentor praised Jeff Morse (Dulles) and John Beatty (Catoctin) for their opposition to the policy.

The board voted to adjourn the meeting until Wednesday at 5:30. The meeting was the final time the full board will meet before the school year begins on Aug. 26.

22 thoughts on “Amid Restrictions, Speakers Again Spar Over School Transgender Policy

  • 2021-08-11 at 8:38 am

    I haven’t read the policy that they will be voting on this Wednesday, however, does it require that parents of students under the age of 18 be notified if their child wishes to be called by another name, or identifies as another gender, or wishes to use specific pronouns? If not, why not? As a parent, I would be enraged with the school for not notify me. Most people can see that this new trend of using different pronouns is a trend/fad so that kids can fit in or seem “cool.” They aren’t really seeking to change their gender or come to realize that they made a mistake. Schools should require that students who are seeking to make such changes must (1) receive parental consent and (2) receive a doctor’s (psychologist/psychiatrist) consent. Kids that make this change are under aged and have no idea what consequences could come for making such changes. Instead, it seems that the schools are just going along with whatever the student feels and thereby approving/promoting such behavior.

    10-15 years from now, people are going to look back on this dark period of America and say how silly this society was from wokeness, cancel culture, me too movement, BLM movement, equity, pronouns, etc. People in the future will be asking, why didn’t schools just focus on ensuring each student learned how to read, write, do math, and understand basic civics. Oh and to respect and honor this country and be proud of it even though there have been dark times in history (as all other countries in this world had).

    • 2021-08-11 at 12:44 pm

      If the kids are just doing it to be trendy, why are you making such a huge deal about it? Make up your mind— either it’s serious or it’s not. Your annoyance about it isn’t relevant to anything.

      • 2021-08-11 at 3:18 pm

        Because the School Board is making it a policy that mandates teachers to do whatever the student wants. Call me Shirley because today I am a female. Next month, no I want to be Ryan again and identify as a male. Based on the policy, the teach must adhere to what that student wants to be known as. Instead, smart policy should be a series of checks and consent by parents and doctors. That will weed out those that are just wanting to join in the fad, and it will ensure those who really think they are a different gender to talk to a professional and understand why they think that since it is a mental disorder. But here we have the schools pitting kids against their own parents and causing unnecessary disruption at schools that takes away time from actually TEACHING!

    • 2021-08-11 at 2:41 pm

      As noted below, learning fell off the cliff last year. Many schools in the districts of the most radical SB members, including Sheridan/Reaser/Barts, had historically abysmal student growth scores. They hurt the very kids they are claiming to promote via this radical CRT/LGBTQ nonsense. Even racists or anti-LGBTQ policy makers couldn’t do this much damage to those groups. Incompetence on a scale rarely witnessed before.

      As to the schools trying to override parental rights, just FOIA that info every year. LCPS cannot withhold the names they have recorded for your child from you on a FOIA response. They clearly are trying to undermine parent relationships with their policies, but it is unlikely they will ignore the law (FOIA).

      • 2021-08-11 at 3:16 pm

        How about doing a FOIA for the names of kids driven to suicide? Conservatives ignore science when it involves evolution, wearing a mask, or getting a vaccine. But when a transgender kid just wants to live his or her life in peace, suddenly you’re all genetic scientists. meanwhile, you ignore the actual doctors saying you are doing harm.

        It comes down to “we will definitely hurt this group of kids we don’t like on the low chance that some other kid MAY be hurt under the crazy scenarios we’ve thought up.”

        You are the bullies. You are doing harm.

    • 2021-08-11 at 4:46 pm

      Prior to the new legislation passed down from the state, a name and gender change could only occur with parental permission if the student was a minor. The new legislation allows for the student to make that decision for him or herself. The county had some latitude as to how they were going to apply it, but they went all in. Now teachers are placed in a box, where they have to acknowledge the student request, which could occur daily for a student who considers him or herself “gender fluid.” This will be impossible to monitor with respect to bathrooms, but it will also come into play when students take Family Life through health. Students at times are separated by gender to discuss gender appropriate topics, and that will raise some discomfort among students who adhere to the biological science behind both sex and gender.

  • 2021-08-11 at 9:21 am

    The editors of Loudon Now really ought to find another report to cover this matter. The current partisan simply cannot serve as an objective reporter on this matter and all of her articles demonstrate this beyond any shadow of doubt.

    • 2021-08-11 at 1:54 pm

      You are correct, Jonathan; another reporter needs to cover this issue. Her bias comes through: “… while the others protested the imminent vote, and the School Board’s efforts to improve working and learning environment for minority students and staff members.”

  • 2021-08-11 at 9:49 am

    “Lucketts Elementary School teacher Laura Morris turned in her resignation …”

    While it certainly got attention, I encourage all conservatives to stay and fight these insane liberal policies where ever they are. Fight them in your schools, fight them with your HR department, fight them at you HOA picnics, fight them with your local small businesses. Make your views known and make them throw you out.

    • 2021-08-11 at 12:45 pm

      It’s a shame Ms. Morris torpedoed her career and ruined her future employment prospects over this. What a strange hill to die on.

    • 2021-08-11 at 1:08 pm

      Yes, that would be the Christian thing to do, amirite?

      If ya’ll would wear your “I don’t believe in equity” hats all the time, it’d be a whole lot easier to know who to stay away from.

      • 2021-08-11 at 4:38 pm

        What if my hat said “I believe in Equality.” Would that be a problem for you Mr. Osborn? Perish the thought of believing everyone should be treated the same.

        I will never understand people who view personal human relationships through the prism of politics. How incredibly boring and morose their lives must be. Half of my friends and acquaintances are lefties or democrats. We don’t scream at or loathe each other. We party together, we debate sometimes, we laugh at each other, and sometimes find common agreement. Then, we mix another drink and move on to other subjects of interest.

        If you lack the life skills to interact with people who don’t think perfectly politically correct, in lock step with you, you should reflect on your internal being. Something is missing. Your life is way too short to be angry and bitter. If not, you’re totally falling for what the media, freak politicians, and their corporate overlords are selling us; Division. Hate. And intolerance. It’s way easier for them to control us when we’re sneering at each other.

  • 2021-08-11 at 11:19 am

    I encourage all progressives to stay and fight these antiquated conservative views where ever they are. Fight them in your schools, fight them with your HR department, fight them at you HOA picnics, fight them with your local small businesses. Make your views known and make them throw you out.

  • 2021-08-11 at 12:53 pm

    Further, I encourage teachers to not comply with this madness and band together in your resistance. LCPS hates a lawsuit, and that is what they will get if they fire you.

  • 2021-08-11 at 2:36 pm

    Ditto. Standing and enforcing rights like Tanner Cross is more useful.

    And don’t let them use pejorative words as all-encompassing for their agenda. The word “racist” rightly has a very negative reputation. It means believing a person is superior or inferior because of their race. It was why all whites, regardless of talent or ethics, could use some water fountains that blacks could not. Those racist policies don’t exist today. The radical Left now calls disparate results “racist” despite no such racist policy. That’s a fraudulent use of the word racist. Disparate results, such as in pro sports, are not the result of racism. Neither are disparate test score results.

    The same is true of the radical LGBTQ agenda. Nobody I know is afraid of LGBTQ. The activists like to use the word “homophobe” because it implies irrationality. In reality, those who don’t but into the radical you-be-whatever-you-think-you-are agenda, including many gays who think the trans folks are out there, are not only rational but have a better handle on what is beneficial to kids. And they do not trample the rights of some, I closing religious citizens, for the ever-changing whims of radical LGBTQ activists who would have us use 60+ pronouns in school if they could get away with it. A term like the anti-LGBTQ agenda is more appropriate.

    Note that whether you were white, black, Hispanic, straight, gay, or trans, all students lost months of learning due to the horrific policies of this anti-education school board. This SB managed to hurt everyone this past year. Only the radical LGBTQ activists would compliment a SB for shoving political ideology down the throats of staff and students when students didn’t actually learn much academically!!

    • 2021-08-11 at 6:02 pm


      No, Brian. The draft of the agenda I saw had 69 pronouns they intend. Get it? 69?!!

      It’s in section two, right after the step-by-step instructions on Marxist indoctrination, including inspiring words from Chairman Mao.

      The LGBTQA community already has dozens of children in each LCPS school ready to demand they be referred to one of the 69 pronouns the first week of school. This includes a kindergartner who will insist on being referred to has “majestic” because they are a queen. Get it? A queen! Last year they were a prince. But you know, big kid school now, so promotion in rank! Anyway, there has been a lot of coaching of these kids at the Leftist Bootcamp this summer. I am told Leesburg Elementary will see the most of them — one kid in each grade will demand Byron Cross use their preferred pronoun and if Byron refuses, you can expect the parents to raise hell. Soros is backing all of this with funding, by the way.

      Week two is devoted to making white children feel bad about their skin color. I would tell you what’s going to happen then, but I am sworn to secrecy. It involves Michelle Obama, though.

  • 2021-08-11 at 3:09 pm

    Soooo, teachers should be able to ignore state laws and local regulations to bully transgender kids and possibly cause suicides because “god”? And basically this is OK because them trans kids deserve it and need our righteous guidance?

    OK – got it.

  • 2021-08-11 at 4:33 pm

    I will say this, I prayed last night and Jesus was pretty clear he would walk out on ALL of you.

    So-called Christians are bigots and snowflakes apparently and the LGBTQ Community wants to shove everything down the throats of everyone.

    What’s wrong with say THREE bathrooms eh? Hopefully, satisfy ALL the snowflakes.

    How about we actually listen to what the children say and desire and abide by their decisions? That is WWJD. But Christianity has pretty much become the Trump “Grabby” Cult these days.

  • 2021-08-11 at 4:47 pm

    Good grief! Call students by the name they want. Young woman and men are discovering who they are and who they might become. Let them discover. Addressing people by the name that they like is simple courtesy. Parens you do not ”own” your children – let them be free
    As to religion, keep that in your church, temple, or coven and follow policy letting children develop according to the school education plan. Who wants their children influenced by religious extremists like “Tanner”?

    • 2021-08-12 at 12:27 pm

      “As to religion, keep that in your church, temple, or coven and follow policy letting children develop according to the school education plan.”

      Hal perfectly sums up what leftists kooks are after: Screw your constitutionally protected rights, and surrender your kids to the Industrial Education Complex. Thank you Hal for being forthright.

      Hard to miss Hal, that you’re totally cool with belittling Christians, Jews, and … witches I suppose, but you left out Mosques. Why? Did you consult your democrat party hate matrix card and realize mentioning Muslims is forbidden?
      Muslims are devoutly religious people Hal. Why don’t they meet your standard for trashing religious people Hal?

  • 2021-08-11 at 6:36 pm

    Biased reporting on display.

    Come on LN. You guys can do better.

    99 % of Loudoun parents want the county to TEACH a non-racist education agenda.

    1 % is LOUD and want the other 99% to change and let boys use girls bathrooms, identify as something other than accepted nomenclature AND the 1 % wants to allow boys to compete in girls sports.

    NOPE. That ain’t acceptable. Not here in Loudoun.

  • 2021-08-12 at 6:50 pm

    The time has come for school vouchers for the only way for our students to get a good education is by attending a private school. LCPS quality of education has plummeted quickly.

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