Tonight’s School Board meeting in Stafford Co. will be dominated by debate over transgender student bathroom policy. Â A young boy who considers himself a girl is being permitted to use the girls bathroom, and girls who are uncomfortable with this are being told they must wait to use the bathroom. Â Students and parents are uncomfortable and upset with this situation. [read_more]
In an email to School Board member Scott Hirons, Equality Virginia pushes aggressively for the policy. Â When state and national organizations are coming in to pressure local school boards, it is important to support your school board member as he represents you and stands up to outside pressure.
Good afternoonÂ School Board Member Hirons,
Equality Virginia is a statewide, non-partisan organization that actively engages in public education, outreach, and advocacy efforts to ensure equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Virginians. One of our main programs is called Safe Schools, and through this program our main focus is to address bullying policies and make sure that all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression are protected.Â In addition to addressing bullying policies, our organization supports policies that ensure that all students have equal access to public accommodations, including restrooms, locker rooms, or changing facilitates.
It was brought to our attention that bathroom access for transgender students in the Stafford County public schools may be addressed by some constituents during the Citizensâ€™ Comments period at next Tuesdayâ€™s board meeting, and Iâ€™ve taken the liberty to attach a document complied by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and NCTE (National Center for Transgender Equality). This document provides a best practices approach to model policy language, definitions, case examples, and a resources page. Also, for context, Iâ€™ve attached a copy of Massachusettsâ€™ guidance for creating a safe and supportive school environment, which specifically addresses non-discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
These documents are intended to provide you with some background, foundational material and I would be more than happy to discuss them over the phone if you would like, and/or provide you with additional supporting documents. Also, please feel welcome to utilize our organization as a tool for public education and support â€“ we would be happy to work with leaders in your community to put together a public education workshop at your convenience.
Thank you for all that you do to ensure the safety and well-being of all Stafford County students.Â I look forward to your response!
All my best,