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Manassas Park City School Board adds LGBTQ non-discrimination protections

The Manassas Park City School Board unanimously voted to include LGBTQ protections against discrimination for students and staff at its Feb. 26 meeting. This makes Manassas Park City one of four jurisdictions surrounding Loudoun that protect students and or staff from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The discussion took 10 minutes before the board unanimously approved the addition, with board Chairwoman Rachel Kirkland saying the board as a whole felt it’s a right for everyone in Manassas Park City schools to not be discriminated against, according to the Prince William Times.

Meanwhile in Loudoun, the debate about extending protections to LGBTQ staff and students continues after the Loudoun County School Board voted 5-4 against adding sexual orientation and gender identity to discrimination policies January 2017.

Proponents against adding the protections have cited a desire to not further label or divide people, fear of civil rights lawsuits or religious beliefs.

Supporters of adding the protections cite data reflecting the existence of a policy reducing bullying of LGBTQ youth and decreased suicide attempts by LGBTQ youth. Supporters also say a policy would help attract and retain teachers since teachers could work in county schools without fear of being fired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBTQ students speaking out about the topic have shared stories of being bullied by peers and teachers doing nothing to intervene, or on some occasions, prejudiced remarks coming from teachers or guidance counselors themselves.

Most recently, at the School Board meeting Tuesday, board members heard from two people about the topic, one speaking for adding protections and one against.

Parent Natashia Grover spoke against adding protections, saying she didn’t understand what forms of self expression students wanted under a revised policy and that “teachers’ proclivities” should stay out of the classroom.

Grover further spoke about concerns of transgender students using bathrooms that aligned with their gender identity.

Jenna Alexander spoke on behalf of the Virginia PTA and said last year the National PTA passed a resolution calling for discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.

“Policies that specifically mention sexual orientation identity and gender expression are associated with students feeling more safe, lower levels of bullying, decreased incidents of harassment and increased teacher and staff intervention, with the greater reporting of incidents,” Alexander said.

Equality Loudoun, a local LGBTQ advocacy organization, regularly addresses the School Board on the issue at the first meeting of each month, and the Loudoun NAACP has also joined in advocating for LGBTQ protections.


WIF, it is unfortunate that LTM has gone this route.  Even when you call out their bias, they simply ignore it.  While they always leaned left, they really went off the deep end once Trump one.  I think they think of themselves as liberal crusaders and need to push an agenda to save us all.  Too bad they can just be a bastion of journalism (or write an article with simple details).

David, I’ve figured some things out. What Manassas Park did is not what activists were trying to do last year in Loudoun County. Rather than doing what MP did (which adds special categories that are not specifically protected under state law), they tried to go the route by saying that any sort of discrimination based on sexual orientation is actually a form of sex discrimination. The claim is that a gay teen is teased because he doesn’t conform to sex-based stereotypes, and therefore he is being discriminated against based on his sex (male). But did The Loudoun Times ever bother to spell these things out for people? Nope. Nor did the paper bother to post the actual proposed policy changes. And they certainly never bothered to discuss how similar changes have affected other school districts, especially when it comes to their family life education curriculum.  It is clear to me that The Loudoun Times has an agenda to push, and this article is simply their way of trying to prod the LCPS school board into kowtowing to it.

I’m sure this will make their students smarter and more successful….

Because Twitter journalism lacks depth of thought.

Why doesn’t The Loudoun Times quote the actual policy changes and explain what they mean? All they ever seem to say is “discrimination policy” but never actually talk about WHAT it is being given special protections? How can you report on a new Manassas Park policy without actually quoting the policy?

It would be nice to continue the debate in this public forum, but the bias of the censors’ makes that impossible.

Too bad everyone doesn’t embrace the 1st Amendment in spirit.

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