Friday, June 2, 2023

Chesapeake School Board Fails To Approve Transgender And Non-Binary Protections

Last night the Chesapeake School Board failed to approve Virginia Department of Education guidelines outlining protections for transgender and non-binary students as required by a state law that requires that all Virginia school districts implement the policies prior to the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.

After lengthy public discourse, board member Dr. Patricia King moved to consider them, but  her motion failed due to a lack of a second from another board member.

Many attendees spoke out against the guidance, citing that they usurped “parental control.”

“When my children are at school, they are students and not the school’s children. My parental authority doesn’t end in the parking lot,” one parent told the board.

In a prepared statement, Chairwoman Victoria Proffitt said, “The school board has received input from many citizens this evening and we have had the opportunity to discuss among ourselves. We have determined we will not take any action on the proposed transgender polices at this time. Which means it is not in effect.”

Chesapeake and Newport News have both declined to approve the guidance in recent days, although the Newport News School Board yesterday called a special meeting to reconsider their vote.

It remains unclear what consequences school boards will face if they do not implement the policies. The state has said that it will not withhold funding, but the moves do open the boards up for legal recourse from transgender and non-binary students and their families.

The Virginia Beach school board will consider the policy at tonight’s meeting. You can watch the meeting here.

UPDATE: At their August 23 meeting, the Virginia Beach School Board decided to postpone its transgender non-discrimination policy vote, citing the board’s bylaw requirement that they go through a prior review with board members before the vote. 

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