On Tuesday night the Loudoun County school board declined to add “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the list of those who have protection in hiring. Instead the board passed a compromise paragraph stating LCPS hires based on merit and excellence. The policy “recognizes and values the diversity of the students and broader community it serves and encourages diversity within its workforce.”
Some on the school board wanted more protection for transgender school staff. If the board made them a protected class that could allow transgender employees to be in the bathrooms and locker rooms with the opposite sex.
Chairman Jeff Morse (Dulles), Eric DeKenipp (Catcotin) and Debbie Rose (Algonkian) voted against the original change in policy making transgender individuals a protected class. The four Democrats, Brenda Sheridan (Sterling), Beth Huck (At Large), Tom Marshall (Leesburg) and Joy Maloney (Broad Run) wanted stronger language to protect the transgender employees but settled for the comprise paragraph.
Chairman of the Loudoun Republican committee, Will Estrada, told the school board they could be opening themselves up to a lawsuit if they added the the language of protection for transgender employees. Fairfax county has been sued after adding this new protected group to their hiring practices and the policy is now on hold. There are lawsuits on the subject before the state and federal courts. Chairman Estrada said,
“What this is is a solution in search of a problem,” he said. “There is no evidence that Loudoun teachers, principals, and staff are being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.”
In 2015 Loudoun County Republican Committee endorsed Beth Huck(at large) for School Board after she promised the committee she would never support adding another special class of people for the transgender employees and thereby opening up the whole bathroom debate. Then Huck did exactly that, supported another protected class. I wouldn’t expect her to be looking for a Republican endorsement if she choses to run again.
More details here.