Letter: Francine Works, Leesburg

Editor: I am not surprised by the negative comments about the School Board’s transgender policy (Policy 8040) made by some of our residents and those across the country who feel the need to weigh in. 

Generally speaking, when people don’t understand something rather than attempt to educate themselves they rush to judgment and at times, resort to hate-speech. 

I have read about some LCPS staff saying that they refuse to follow the policy because in doing so they are lying to children. Using a student’s preferred pronouns is not lying to them. Not using their preferred pronouns is denying children of perhaps one of the few places where they feel safe—school.

Feeling comfortable enough to share their pronouns and their authentic selves is one of the purposes of this policy. These students want to feel they matter; that they are included. 

As a mother of a transgender daughter, I can attest to the fact that despite what some people might think she did not “decide” to become transgender. In fact, she has expressed to me that if she had a choice she would not have chosen this for her life. Having people who love and support her has been paramount in her accepting of herself as who she is. 

Many of the students across the county for a number of reasons rely on school as being the one place where they feel safe. I do believe that the comments made by some of the teachers about how they care about their students while not agreeing with the policy are true. However, if they truly care they will educate themselves on gender identity specifically gender dysphoria. If they are still uncomfortable because of religious reasons, maybe teaching in a parochial school would be best. If they are opposed to the policy not for religious reasons, they should consider a new profession. 

Francine Works, Leesburg

18 thoughts on “Letter: Francine Works, Leesburg

  • 2021-10-04 at 6:34 pm

    My patience is wearing thin with the few LCPS teachers threatening to file suit against Policy 8040. I think they’re itching for a fight. No one is forcing them to say anything. “Discretion is the better part of valor.” If they really have a problem with wording, there are workarounds available to them, similar to what Matt Walsh came up with to speak at an LCSB meeting. Please remember that LCPS has 97 schools & 13,000+ employees. I believe the vast majority of LCPS staff understand the truth about Policy 8040.

  • 2021-10-05 at 1:42 am

    Very well said Francine.

    I think that the Alliance defending Freedom ( a known hate group that has pushed anti-LGBT policies and laws internationally) came in to the county seeking teacher-recruits to attack this policy and the law that governs it.

    I have seen some very ignorant and hate filled posts on this subject (and I expect some on this post). No-one chooses to be transgender. You think someone would want to suffer the ignorance and hate? In pushing this lawsuit and by fighting these laws, these hate groups seek to hurt a very small but extremely vulnerable segment of society. They are bullies.

  • 2021-10-05 at 6:03 am

    Perhaps the writer should “educate” herself on the dangers of 8040 before dismissing teachers to another career. Gender dysphoria is a mental disorder with a suicide ideation rate of over 40 percent. Through the “protection” of 8040, schools are not required to inform parents of minors that their children have gender dysphoria. So a child who falls into a high-risk category for committing suicide is in the hands of the school system rather than the parents, and your concern is that your child is not “safe” because someone might use the wrong pronoun?

    • 2021-10-05 at 11:56 am

      A partial truth. 40% of transgender people have though about suicide. But when the person is in a supportive environment, the numbers shrink dramatically. Your argument seems to be, they are already depressed and oppressed, why not have their teachers bully them also?

      These transgender kids are not a threat to you. They are struggling with enormous issues. Having ignorant people in authority positions belittle them is harmful. It will cause harm, possibly deaths. Transgender kids in Loudoun HAVE committed suicide.

      But that’s the ADF’s plan, isn’t it? That organization has consistently worked against LGBT people worldwide. They even argued for mass sterilization of LGBT people.They have worked against work protections, insurance protections, family protections. We get it – they hate LGBT people. ESPECIALLY transgender people. That’s why the SPLC has designated them a hate group.

      Thes spurious arguments are meant to hide the fact that these groups HATE trans kids and WANT to harm them.

      Two things – These groups hide behind the fact that religion is protected to attack minorities that they HATE. And one of the ADF founders is a co-founder of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville.

      • 2021-10-06 at 7:56 pm

        Iam…, no one is advocating for bullying; you pulled that out of nowhere. Your implication is that everyone is required to believe what you believe, and unfortunately, most do not. Further, no one said trans kids are a threat, but 8040 is. If the school is unwilling to inform a parent that the child has a mental disorder, what else can they keep from parents for fear that the parent might not agree? Drug use? Pregnancy? Either you don’t have children of your own, or you don’t understand that in the case of a minor child, the parent is the ultimate legal authority over any and all decisions which affect that child, period. This also places teachers in an awkward position where they may know something detrimental about a child and can’t report it to the parent. That would make for an interesting parent conference should the need arise, and I’m sure the parent would like to know why he or she wasn’t told. The danger does not lie with you; it lies with us.

  • 2021-10-05 at 7:01 am

    Not everyone “feels safe at school”. Do you know why so many parents drop their children off at school instead of taking the available buses? Do you know why the School Board refuses to require public disclosure of all reported bullying events per school per month? Do you know how few employees are fired per year from LCPS each year or how detailed and frequent the performance evaluations are and who gets to provide input into them? What do you think the primary reason LCPS does NOT allow parents to provide input to be considered in performance evaluations? Have you ever been in a school locker room after a physical educational class? I really doubt anyone who has seen an unsupervised locker room would want it to be co-ed. Don’t drink the cool-aid – its not all peachy-keen and when policies are not enforced kids suffer in my experience as a parent of three who went through “the system” and two terms on the school board with a Superintendent who was extremely competent. Just think of the number of transactions that occur between 80,000 children per day and the need to adroitly manage should become clear. 🙂

    • 2021-10-06 at 6:40 pm

      All 4 of my kids have graduated from LCPS. All 4 of them have been bullied from time to time. That is not the point. The point is inclusion and respect. The point is respecting students by using their preferred pronouns. Simply respect.

  • 2021-10-05 at 8:30 am

    Again, we have another LCPS employee choosing to not disclose their employment while publicly discussing LCPS policy.

    • 2021-10-05 at 6:58 pm

      This always amazes me. The credibility of the author goes right out the window. Where as if she said it up front you can actually take her comments seriously but factor that in.

    • 2021-10-06 at 6:42 pm

      If you are referring to my employment I am guessing that you are guessing because perhaps you know that I am a LCPS employee. I am not sure what makes that relevant. But I hope this satisfies your comment.

    • 2021-10-06 at 7:01 pm

      Don’t know why that makes a difference. Clearly you are a master detective. I am anLCPS employee. I hope this satisfies your need to know and for me to make it perfectly clear. Would love to know why this is relevant ACE 10. It amuses me that responders to posts can use aliases while the letters to the editor require full name.

      • 2021-10-07 at 1:05 pm

        You are making positive statements about your EMPLOYER, and negative statements about your COWORKERS.

        Disclosing those relationships is 100.00% germane to the readers’ task of considering and analyzing the discussion you have put forth.

  • 2021-10-05 at 12:12 pm

    Francine, while many of us can appreciate the challenges faced by your child, it is the opinion of many who believe this policy does nothing to protect and support your family. Policies such as 8040 serve no purpose rather than stir the pot, which is currently hurting ALL of the parents of LCPS, and many of us who are “on the fence” are growing tired of this circus. There are already anti-bullying disciplinary processes in place for both students and teachers who demonstrate any kind of insensitivity towards children with special needs and/or who have made less traditional life choices. Perhaps disciplinary action for bullying should include sensitivity training that is specific to the offense.

    I implore you to speak to your or other cisgender children who attend LCPS schools (particularly high school) — if you did you’d understand that no specific group is more prone to being bullied than any other child who may demonstrate physical characteristics or behaviors that are perceived as “unusual” by other children. My youngest recently graduated high school, and both he and his *very progressive/independent-thinking* older sibling claim that their own observation was that, for the most part, LGBTQ+ kids are among the most popular at school because they are different. Case in point – each of them has friends who claim to be bisexual even though neither has ever dated their own sex. One thing is for certain with this current generation – the need to be “special and different” is even stronger than my own Generation X’s need to “fit in” was. Moreover, there are a variety of conflicting reports on the subject, but several from very reputable medical and psychological publications claim that at least 80-90% of gender dysphoric children eventually return to identifying with their birth sex.

    At the risk of sounding insensitive, I agree with Mr. Ohneiser that there are many other safety issues on the LCPS docket that have been left to fester so as to dedicate countless hours and energies consumed by this useless policy that is virtue signaling at its worst.

    • 2021-10-06 at 6:47 pm

      There are I am certain many safety issues facing LCPS. I am simply expressing my POV about this particular issue. That’s what the editorial letters are for. To express opinions. The bisexual comment is interesting. How people identify (cis, transgender female, transgender male, bisexual, lesbian etc..) has nothing to do with who they date but rather how they feel about themselves. People get so hung up on the sexual part they forget the human part. The human part of a person just wants respect.

  • 2021-10-06 at 4:26 pm

    When an individual has a disability or tendencies; they still have to cope. Often, parents are too enmeshed. Teach your child the difference. Don’t take on their disorder/disability as though you have it yourself. Teachers can’t not be expected to neutralize genders to meet the needs of those with mental health issues. We all don’t have gender disorders. The sooner your child notes this the better it will be for them. Johns Hopkins did years of research. Please read it. We should not be encourage this nor the rest of the propaganda the unions are pushing on the public school systems.

    • 2021-10-06 at 6:51 pm

      Unfortunately my transgender daughter graduated too late for this policy to benefit her. I would argue, and my friends and family would agree, I am perhaps what people would consider a very hands off parent. I never got involved with bothering teachers, checking grades, hounding my kids in any way.

      If you’re telling me that people who are transgender have a mental health issues, I will pray for you.
      (she said in a facetious tone)

      • 2021-10-07 at 5:40 pm

        As the socialists push their propaganda into our elementary, middle, high schools and colleges the end results are that professionals have learned what the socialists want them to practice. If you don’t think your daughter has mental health issues, it may be because a counselor told you this? The first thing a counselor should have done was a complete psycho social assessment to determine if trauma happened. We are born with our genders. Gender Identity disorder is listed in the DSM. If a counselor thinks it is acceptable to change a sex of a child whose neurons aren’t developed fully until they are in their mid 20s, perhaps it is time to get a new counselor or to have your daughter seen by one. Regardless, JH recommends not encouraging an organ change. 10 years after their surgery, they have regrets.. This is a huge decision to make. A counselor should have been involved with her. You are the one that stated she doesn’t have MH issues… so let’s assume you have not gotten her professional help and she was traumatized…. I am not being factious, I will say prayers she is treated with the utmost professional care and if she decides to have organs etc changed she has made the right choice for her life long.

  • 2021-10-07 at 1:41 pm

    Earlier this week, I read a published piece which was based on interviews with two doctors who are heavily involved in the field of transgender medicine.
    I cannot publish the link, but search for names Dr. Marci Bowers and Erica Anderson, PhD and the author Abigail Shrier.
    Warning: If you think it’s OK for pre-adolescent children to be subjected to this type of “care,” you’re probably not going to like the story.

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