Loudoun County School Board releases new guidelines for public comment during meetings

The Loudoun County School Board has released new guidelines for how the public comment portion of their meetings will go. 

The new restrictions come after several heated meetings where public speakers chastised the Board or others over controversial topics such as Critical Race Theory, freedom of speech for staff members, and the use of students' preferred gender pronouns. 

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The Board now says beginning Sept. 28, those who sign up to offer public comment to the School Board must fit the following criteria:

  • They must be residents of Loudoun County (including its incorporated towns);
  • Owners of businesses located in whole or part in Loudoun County;
  • LCPS students;
  • Parents and guardians of LCPS students that live outside of Loudoun County; or
  • LCPS employees.

If a member of the public wants to speak to the Board they have to provide proof that they meet the criteria using one of the following:

  • A valid Virginia driver’s license indicating Loudoun County residency;
  • A utility bill from 2021 with the resident’s name and a Loudoun County address;
  • A mortgage or rental lease agreement displaying the resident’s name and current street address of residency

or business;

  • A current Employee ID or Student ID;
  • An email or letter from Loudoun County Public Schools to the parent from the 2021-22 school year regarding a

currently enrolled LCPS student.

  • A student report card or progress report

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"The School Board is making these changes in order to ensure that the voices of our 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 own media profiles," said School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan. 

School Board officials say the order of virtual and in-person public comment will alternate from meeting to meeting. 

For the Sept. 28 meeting, virtual comments will precede in-person speakers.