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Chaos, Teacher Quits as Virginia School District OKs Pro-Trans Policy

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Over a hundred people gave public comments before the district's school board voted on the policy, months after the proposal was made. 

@wgacooper

Loudon County Schools in northern Virginia has approved a trans-inclusive policy that has caused tension and incidents at several of its previous board meetings.

A Tuesday evening school board meeting saw over a hundred people give public comments on a proposed policy to require teachers and staff to go by the names and pronouns of trans students. One teacher from the district even quit in protest of the policy.

Due to the number of comments, the board made a motion to vote on the policy on Wednesday. The policy protecting trans kids passed on a 7-2 vote, reported The Washington Post.

While the policy is supposed to help trans students, some board members fear what the controversy around the policy may have done.

"The entire approach of this policy was to help the transgender kids, yet it put a big target on their backs," board member Harris Mahedavi told The Post. "We are responsible for that, and making our community divided."

Conservative board member Jeff Morse called the policy "anti-family, anti-privacy, anti-teacher." He added that the policy was not needed due to the policies already in place against bullying.

Board member Ian Serotkin responded to Morse, saying, "You seem to imply that bullying and harassment of our LGBTQ students is a thing of the past."

"I don't know how you can say that with a straight face, I'm sorry," Serotkin said.

A teacher, Laura Morris told the board "I quit" on Tuesday. Morris said she had been teaching in the district for five years.

"I quit your policies, I quit your trainings, and I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents -- the children," she said. "I will find employment elsewhere."

In June, a man was arrested and another ticketed for trespassing as a school board meeting turned into chaos between the groups of parents for and against the policy.

The now-adopted policy includes statements such as, "Staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student's gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy," according to TV station WRC-TV.

Atoosa Reaser, vice-chair of the board wrote on Twitter, "The best interest of every child is what guides my every vote. Tonight, the School Board adopted a policy to protect our transgender students [because] feeling safe [and] welcome is a first step to learning."

@wgacooper
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