LGBTQIA+ coalition in Northern Va. fighting for transgender and gender-expansive students

Virginia

NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — A coalition of organizations is calling on leaders to stop the rise of anti-LGBTQIA+ hate, particularly towards transgender and gender-expansive students.

Local organizations are fighting for LGBTQIA+ students after what they call an “unlawful assembly” at the Loudoun County School Board meeting. The footage from the meeting shows parents chanting “shame on you,” yelling at one another and even putting up fists, leading to one man’s arrest.

“In 21 years as a public information officer, I’ve never seen a school board meeting interrupted like that. I’ve never seen a meeting halted; I’ve never seen the sheriff’s office have to clear the room,” said LCPS spokesperson Wayde Byard.

Local LGBTQIA+ organizations are saying enough is enough and the president of FCPS pride, Robert Rigby, says the board meeting got out of control.

“The violent mob. People were threatened, people were assaulted. It was ugly. It was scary, and sometimes became violent, and people were traumatized,” Rigby said.

He’s a teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools and he knows how impactful teachers can be for children growing up.

“We talked about children being resilient. But we all grew up, and we all remember seemingly minor things, our teachers and administrators said that meant nothing to them. But were devastating to us and had an impact on us the rest of our lives. Children are vulnerable,” said Rigby.

Loudoun county public schools did not want to comment on the local organization’s stance. LCPS plans on discussing Draft Policy 8040 in August which has protections for transgender and gender-expansive students.

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