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Fri Jun 10, 2016, 09:08 AM

Fairfax Co. school meeting becomes heated over debate on transgender nondiscrimination policy

Last edited Fri Jun 10, 2016, 09:52 AM - Edit history (1)

Fairfax Co. school meeting becomes heated over debate on transgender nondiscrimination policy

By: Lauren DeMarco

Posted:Jun 09 2016 11:38PM EDT

Updated:Jun 10 2016 07:00AM EDT

FALLS CHURCH, Va. - At a regularly scheduled school board meeting in Fairfax County, a number of parents and citizens came out to speak about pushing forward with transgender policy in schools -- with the debate in particular about bathroom use. Several people were opposed to any changes and it was a heated meeting with people on both sides very passionate about this issue.

On one side, you had transgender children talking about being uncomfortable using the bathroom at school along with heartbreaking stories of bullying. ... “I think it's kind of unfair that transgenders shouldn't be able to use bathrooms and it may not seem like a big deal to those who aren't transgenders, but to me, it is a big deal,” said Fairfax County student Victoria Johnson. ... “In addition to being an FCPS alumnus and coach, I am also a transgender man,” said Tyler Engleman. “When I was an FCPS student, I experienced firsthand the kind of harassment that children get from their peers.”

But on the other side, there were parents expressing concern about their children being forced to accept these changes as the "new norm."
....

A parent who was in opposition of the transgender regulations yelled out and interrupted Engleman, a transgender coach, as he spoke at the podium. Some others also expressed their disgust and also left the meeting.

Parents Voice Opinions During Fairfax Co. Discussion on Transgender Students

By Jackie Bensen

Tensions flared Thursday night at a meeting where parents and students discussed a proposal to include transgender students in Fairfax County Public Schools' non-discrimination policy.

About a dozen people made public comments at the Fairfax County School Board meeting and urged the board to craft a policy that would integrate transgender students -- including allowing them to use the bathroom of their choice.

After a transgender man, who identified himself as a coach, spoke at the meeting, a man sitting down started yelling. ... "You didn't give any of us notice," he said.

He and another father were escorted out of the meeting. They said they were not given enough notice that the proposed transgender policy was on the agenda and could not sign up to voice their opposition.

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