The Loudoun County School Board in Virginia has voted to allow students who identify as the opposite sex to be able to use the toilets they identify with and join single-sex sports teams.
Policy 8040, which goes into effect immediately, also forces teachers to use the preferred pronouns of students identifying as the opposite sex.
Following months of controversy, the Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 to approve a policy establishing protections for transgender students and giving them more autonomy and rights while studying at schools in the district.
Now, students within the Loudoun County School District will be able to use the locker room and bathroom that corresponds to their chosen gender identity.
But the policy has faced backlash from both staff and parents.
Back in May, a Christian teacher in the State was suspended for saying that he would never “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl, and vice versa” due to his Christian beliefs.
Tanner Cross used examples of detransitioners taken from the American news show 60 Minutes, and said of the policy: “It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God”.
Cross was initially put on leave and forbidden from setting foot on school grounds by the Board, but in June a judge called this action “unconstitutional” and said it had “silenced others from speaking publicly on the issue”.
The lawsuit is ongoing, and Cross is being supported by the religious liberty organization Alliance Defending Freedom. He has now been joined by two more Christian teachers, Monica Gill and Kim White, in opposing Policy 8040.
According to AWM, the new policy was faced with mixed reactions Loudoun community:
Some people applauded the school district’s effort to expand rights to transgender students. Others thought it was not right.
“We all had a sense of a wide margin of support, but this was a big relief,” former LCPS student Nicholas Gothard told the Loudon Times-Mirror. “On an issue that was divisive, our school board showed it fights for our kids.”
Senator Jennifer Boysko (D-33rd) represents a portion of Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. She said: “We have a number of students in the school system who are very, very vulnerable, and to have the ability to be called the name that they asked to be called, and to be able to use the bathroom that identifies with their gender the courts have spoken.”
Another community member, Jeff Morse, did not vote in favor of the policy, saying: “Tonight’s a difficult night for our community.”