LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — The Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) board had to cut the public hearing section of its meeting short on Tuesday night, after attendees in the board room participated in reported “loud public demonstrations” violating the “decorum of the meeting” according to LCPS spokesperson, Wayde Byard.
Board Chair Brenda Sheridan warned the attendees repeatedly before the board decided to unanimously vote to end the public comment section. When the public was dismissed from the meeting, the Loudoun County Sherriff’s Office said one man began displaying aggressive behavior toward another attendee, and when a deputy intervened, the man continued to act disorderly. The man was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Another man was released on a summons for trespassing.
Before the meeting, many rallied outside the Loudoun County Government Center, primarily showing either support or opposition to a new draft policy, Regulation 8040, to give transgender students more protection within the school district. The policy would require teachers to respect transgender students’ desired pronouns and names, as well as allow transgender students to use facilities that match their identity.
Assistant superintendent Asia Jones said LCPS’s existing policies do not meet policies required by the state of Virginia in regard to the protection of transgender students, leading to the introduction of Regulation 8040.
“Policy 8040, rights of transgenders and gender-expansive students, has been developed to comply with the Virginia code by addressing the sections of the code that are not already addressed in our existing policies,” said Jones during the meeting.
Board members discussed the new draft regulation and plan to engage in more public discussion before implementing new policy. The board will now enter its public input process, allowing time to discuss the draft policy with the community and is set to vote on August 10.