The Loudoun County School Board voted Wednesday night to give transgender students access to school facilities, groups, and sports that match their gender identities.
The new guidelines, which take effect immediately, require teachers to address transgender children by their names and pronouns, The Washington Post reported.
The board voted 7-2 to approve the policy, with conservative members John Beatty and Jeff Morse opposing it.
"Tonight's a difficult night for our community," Morse said, the Post reported.
Morse termed the new guidelines "divisive, anti-family, anti-privacy, anti-teacher," and added, "It’s so unneeded … because if you are a [Loudoun] student today you are protected from bullying, harassment, and abuse."
Loudoun County Public Schools was one of more than 200 school systems throughout Virginia considering revised guidelines for transgender students, after the state legislature last year passed a law requiring them to do so to help protect students against harassment.
On Tuesday night, more than 100 people showed up to hold dueling parking lot rallies and to speak both for and against the transgender policy, the Post said. The board's scheduled vote was delayed a day after the public comment period stretched more than four hours.
While progressives on school boards around the country try to advance transgender guidelines and critical race theory, parents are arguing against mask mandates and other areas they see as public schools as overreaching, the Washington Examiner said.
A Williamson County, Tennessee, school board voted to impose a mask mandate for elementary schools on Tuesday despite parents protesting outside the building. Chants of "No more masks," could be heard from outside, the Examiner reported.
In Waconia, Minnesota, the local school board voted Monday to keep masks optional after parents flooded the meeting with opposition.
That same day in Burlington, Wisconsin, the local school board delayed its vote on a mask mandate because the debate got too intense — parents railed against a proposed requirement for face coverings, the Examiner reported.
Some Republican governors have attempted to ban mask mandates and critical race theory at the state level. Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas, and Ron DeSantis of Florida, have issued statewide prohibitions on mask mandates that local school districts are attempting to challenge.
Critical race theory is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica as the concept in which race is a socially constructed category ingrained in American law intended to maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites. It holds that the U.S. society is inherently or systemically racist.
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