by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – The Loudoun County school board in Virginia voted Wednesday to require staff to refer to transgender students by their preferred pronouns and to allow trans students to participate in sports and use facilities based on their gender identity, the Washington Times reports. The Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students policy was approved 7-2 after an extensive public comment session.
In a statement about the new policy, the Loudoun school board said it was required in light of the federal court decision in Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, which ruled it was a violation of Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause to bar transgender students from using bathroom facilities based on gender identity, the Times reports.
The US Supreme Court in June declined to hear the Gloucester board’s appeal and left the federal court’s decision in the case to stand.
According to the new policy, Loudoun schools staff must allow “gender-expansive and transgender students” to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities consistent with their gender identity. Moreover, the policy states: “The use of gender-neutral pronouns is appropriate. Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur; however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.”
“LCPS’ number one priority is to foster the success of all students and ensure they feel safe, secure, accepted, and ready to learn at school,” the board said. “The school division will continue to do its due diligence in creating that environment and remaining open and transparent with all LCPS partners, community members, and stakeholders.”
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