Sen. Jennifer Boysko addresses the Loudoun County School Board Tuesday.

Sen. Jennifer Boysko addresses the Loudoun County School Board Tuesday.

If you listened to the public comment portion of Tuesday’s school board meeting you no doubt took note of the two sides arguing for or against a proposed policy that would codify transgendered students’ rights to use their chosen name and gender pronouns.

Under the full stare of the national media, these diametrically opposed groups asserted their respective views in a way that one might conclude that the very fabric of our community is being torn apart. It’s a schism that has been widened by the unrelenting attention of partisan pundits making cheap points.

That Loudoun County has become a veritable test kitchen for the ongoing national debate about issues of equity has been disheartening, to say the least.

Teachers and administrators alike no doubt resent Loudoun County Public Schools being forced into the role of an unwitting battleground by outside groups in search of a foil to their cause.

When Sen. Jennifer Boysko took to the podium to address the School Board, she injected into the discussion something that has been largely missing from the public discourse — context.

“The new policies that you all are undertaking have been mandated by the state board of education in part by legislation that I carried,” she said to members of the School Board.

“I carried the bill that sets out the new parameters of how are transgender students should be treated in schools, and we worked for a year with teachers from all over the state; with educators, with administrators, with families and parents and got input from people from all corners of Virginia.”

She continued, “And this is a mandated program that you all have been required to carry out and I want to thank you for your commitment to equality, and to making sure that every child feels loved and valued.”

Whether you agree with the changes stemming from that mandate or not, Sen. Boysko’s point is valid — the vitriol directed at the School Board and LCPS administrators is misplaced.

That’s not to say that those speaking out against, for example, the proposed policy affecting transgendered students are acting in bad faith. But this is not the right arena.

It’s important to remember the group at risk of becoming an inadvertent casualty of this debate — students.

The pushback against a policy intended to make transgender students feel safe and included is misplaced. It also risks having a deleterious effect on an already vulnerable population.

The anger and frustration that has come to define much of this debate may appear to be tearing Loudoun County apart, but it’s not.

No matter how much outside noise penetrates our discourse, we are still a community and we should all endeavor to remain civil, even at times of strife such as these.

Our children are watching and learning from our example.

(6) comments

J Smith

Did you hear that on Thursday, July 15, the Russell County School Board voted unanimously to reject the Virginia Department of Education’s proposed policies on pronoun and transgender bathroom policies? Looks like the residents of Russell County elected representatives that would stand up for their community against the overreach of our state’s current government and protect the privacy and safety of their children in school settings.

Unfortunately, we didn’t do that here in Loudoun County during our last election. Now, we have to fix it. We do that by recalling our elected officials from office. If California can do it, we can do it in Loudoun County. Then we put in office those people who will protect our children and grandchildren from harmful policies, who will protect their dignity in private spaces, and who will focus on excellence in education.

J Smith

I’m sure teachers and administrators are not happy about the current debate going on about codifying transgendered students’ “rights”. But to say that the battleground is being forced upon them by “outside groups in search of a foil to their cause” is off the mark.

Our current elected leaders of Loudoun County are the ones responsible for “forcing these changes” on the people of the county and a whole lot of us in the county think what they’re doing is way wrong.

Senator Boysko gets it wrong when she says that the new policies regarding transgendered students drafted by the Virginia Department of Education are all mandated by law. They’re not. There is no requirement to adopt all of the proposed policies. School boards have a role to play in determining what policies to adopt for their district; otherwise, why have a school board?

The Loudoun Times gets it wrong saying that “vitriol directed at the school board and LCPS administrators is misplaced.” No, it’s not. Many LC parents are rightly very concerned that their school board members are going to force their young daughters to expose themselves in any way, including nude, to those born male, or have someone born male expose themselves to their daughters.

One of the policies drafted by the Virginia Department of Education would put gender dysphoria in the same class as race or color. Gender dysphoria should not be elevated to a protected class. It is a psychological disorder that needs compassionate care.

Another proposed policy puts the school board on a path to shut out parents from issues pertaining to their children’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being. I can’t think of a faster way to get parents “angry and frustrated.”

Loudoun Times, these issues are not “outside noise.” Our own elected leaders are the ones tearing the fabric of this community apart with harmful policies at our children’s expense.

jke

Disarm hate, from a women who backed Tran's abortion bill which even after a live birth allows abortion, she voted to fund by taxpayer dollars. Why does she hate the newborn and those soon to be born?

jke

Those in power are not good people, fight back against the Boysko's, Randall's and Thomas's of the county and state.

jke

the vitriol directed at the School Board and LCPS administrators is perfectly placed and should include Boysko the other @$$hats that voted for fake genders. Carve outs for divisions!

rhampton414

[thumbup] Well said.

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