LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Dozens rallied in Loudoun County Tuesday afternoon in protest of several Loudoun County Public School policies including the transgender policy and new rules for the public comment portion of school board meetings.
Policy 8040 allows transgender students to use restrooms, locker rooms and be called by names that correspond with their gender identity. Several speakers denounced the policy, including parents, out-of-state advocacy groups and teachers.
Some of the teachers who addressed the crowd mentioned plans to sue to the school board over the policy.
Tennessee blogger, podcaster and speaker Matt Walsh was the main speaker and spoke to FOX 5’s Perris Jones after the rally.
"We’re not going to reorganize society and pretend that biology doesn’t exist because some people are confused," Walsh said. "When someone is confused you try to make them understand the truth, you try to help them understand the truth, especially in a school environment where these are little kids."
There were some in the crowd in opposition of the rally like Tom Wible, who supports the LCPS transgender policy.
"I raised two kids and have two granddaughters in public school who have LGBT relatives and I want them to learn that all children are valued."
Walsh and others attending the rally also spoke out in opposition of the LCPS public comment rules which changed to require speakers to show proof they are either a county resident, business owner, student, guardian of a student or school employee.
Walsh said leased out someone’s basement in Loudoun County so he could address the school board during Tuesday night’s meeting.
"What Loudoun County is doing is it’s insane and it’s indefensible," Walsh said. "We know it’s indefensible because they can’t defend it they’re not bothering to defend it."
"So instead they try to stop people from speaking they give you 60 seconds and cut off the mic."
LCPS said in a press release they’re doing this to make sure the voices of parents and the LCPS community are heard rather than out of town agitators who would make board meetings a platform for national politics or to enhance their media profiles.
The Board also adopted a revised conduct policy for employees earlier in September, which addresses free speech, saying they will acknowledge free speech rights of school system employees outside of work, but will still require the support of the school system's policy on the job.
That decision came after the controversy involving elementary school teacher Tanner Cross, who said he would not follow the district's policy for transgender students.
Cross sued the school board after he was fired for refusing to use students’ preferred pronouns saying it was against his religion to do so. He was reinstated per a court order.
Recent court cases have backed policies allowing transgender students to use facilities that match their gender identity. The Supreme Court chose not to hear an appeal to the case that sets precedent for this region.