Virginia school board meeting descends into violence over new transgender policies

Virginia school board meeting descends into violence over new transgender policies
Loudon County Public Schools is implementing a policy that requires a teacher to call a student by their preferred name and use their preferred pronouns

A Virginia school board meeting descended in chaos on Tuesday after shouting and violence erupted during public commentary about transgender policies.

The Loudoun County Public Schools board cut the meeting short after participants at the meeting refused to follow several orders to quiet down.

Members of the public attended the meeting in Ashburn, Virginia, to either voice their opposition or support towards the public school district changing its transgender policies.

Under the draft school policy the board was considering, teachers would be required to refer to students by their preferred names and pronouns. Transgender students would also have access to facilities and activities that matched their gender identity.

The policy calls for all students to be “treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, or gender identity/expression,” NBC Washington reports.

Loudoun was considering a revision to its school policy in accordance with a recently passed Virginia state law that required school systems to alter their policies on how they treat transgender students.

But the school board meeting to discuss the changes descended into chaos during the public comment portion.

Attendees started to talk over each other and refused to cooperate. The meeting then ended with one person arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and one person was injured, officials said.

Another attendee was issued a trespassing summons, according to the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department.

“The Loudoun County School Board ended the public comment section of its June 22 meeting on a unanimous vote after Chair Brenda L. Sheridan repeatedly warned the attendees in the Board Room that loud public demonstrations violated the decorum of the meeting,” the board said in a statement. “Sheridan had previously, and repeatedly, warned the public after introducing the public comment section with a reading of [the policy]. Earlier the chair recessed the School Board meeting for five minutes due to disruptions before the unanimous vote to end public comment was taken.”

The school district’s policy towards trangender students already earned national headlines after an elementary school gym teacher refused to follow the guidelines. He said the policy went against his religious beliefs.

The teacher was fired for refusing to follow the policy, but a judge later ordered for him to be reinstated.


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