Loudoun County School Board Approves Trans Students in Opposite Sex’s Sports Teams, Locker Rooms

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The embattled Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 on Wednesday to approve transgender guidelines that will give students who believe they are the opposite sex access to school facilities, groups, and sports teams of their biological counterparts.

The new guidelines, which take effect immediately, also mandate that teachers address their transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns, according to a report by the Washington Post.

“Tonight’s a difficult night for our community,” said conservative school board member Jeff Morse, who voted against the transgender policies, which he called “divisive, anti-family, anti-privacy,” and “anti-teacher.”

People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. - "Are you ready to take back our schools?" Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as "oppressors." "Yes!", answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against "critical race theory," the latest battleground of America's ongoing culture wars. The term "critical race theory" defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers' efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

People hold up signs during a rally against “critical race theory” (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. – “Are you ready to take back our schools?” Republican activist Patti Menders shouted at a rally opposing anti-racism teaching that critics like her say trains white children to see themselves as “oppressors.” “Yes!”, answered in unison the hundreds of demonstrators gathered this weekend near Washington to fight against “critical race theory,” the latest battleground of America’s ongoing culture wars. The term “critical race theory” defines a strand of thought that appeared in American law schools in the late 1970s and which looks at racism as a system, enabled by laws and institutions, rather than at the level of individual prejudices. But critics use it as a catch-all phrase that attacks teachers’ efforts to confront dark episodes in American history, including slavery and segregation, as well as to tackle racist stereotypes. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s so unneeded,” Morse added. “Because if you are a [Loudoun] student today you are protected from bullying, harassment and abuse.”

In May, Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) suspended gym teacher Bryon “Tanner” Cross, who at a school board meeting cited science and Christianity when opposing the policy that requires teachers agree with children’s claims that they are members of the opposite sex.

In June, the Twentieth Judicial Circuit of Virginia ordered the school board to immediately reinstate the gym teacher.

Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross addresses the Loudoun County School Board during the public comment portion of the May 25 meeting. LCPS/Vimeo

Leesburg Elementary School physical education teacher Byron “Tanner” Cross addresses the Loudoun County School Board during the public comment portion of the May 25 meeting.
LCPS/Vimeo

Cross’ suspension nonetheless serves as an eerie foreshadowing of what is likely to come for teachers who dare dissent in the wake of the implementation of the transgender guidelines.

The school board had originally intended to vote on the transgender issue on Tuesday, but decided to postpone the affair after the public comment portion of the meeting went on for more than four hours.

During the meeting’s public comment period on Tuesday, LCPS teacher Laura Morris resigned over the district’s Critical Race Theory training program, which she said has labeled her an oppressor due to her skin color, and is pushing “highly politicized agendas” onto the county’s “most vulnerable constituents, the children.”

During her remarks, Morris also pointed out the school board’s “lack of consideration for the growing population of concerned citizens in this division, clearly evidenced by this empty room tonight where you shut the doors to the public,” and alleged that the Loudoun County superintendent told her last year that expressing a dissenting opinion “is not allowed.”

In recent months, LCPS has turned itself into a national spectacle, as concerned parents rally to recall the school board members pushing Critical Race Theory, an academic movement teaching children that the U.S. is inherently or systemically racist, and they must view every social interaction and person in terms of race in order to be “antiracist.”

LCPS interim superintendent Scott A. Ziegler insists the school system is “not teaching critical race theory,” but rather, that they are about two years into racial “equity” education, which Ziegler admits uses “common vocabulary” to Critical Race Theory, and that overlap is unavoidable.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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