Parents’ anger boils over, arrests made after School Board silences public comments in explosive meeting

Virginia’s Loudoun County School Board is in hot water after a board meeting on transgender policy, where 259 residents signed up to speak, ended in the arrest of two men. 

The meeting on the hot button issue and Policy 8040 sparked serious debate, leading to the board’s decision to cut off public comment. One person was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest while another was charged with trespassing according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. 

The school district wants to implement new policies that would update the rights of transgender students, allowing them to use whatever bathroom or play on sports teams that correlate with their gender identity, and it would require district employees and students to use students’ preferred names and pronouns. 

The public comment portion of the meeting began with six speakers who voiced support for the measure. Things soon went south when the mother of a transgender student in the district dug into Christian parents who are against the measure saying that “hate” was “dripping from the followers of Jesus in this room”.

The crowd exploded, leading the school board to immediately call for a five-minute recess to allow participants to cool down.

Upon return, board chair Brenda Sheridan addressed the crowd saying, “The board is here to hear from everyone. We started our meeting early because we knew we would have a large crowd and we had a large agenda. We ask again that you respect each other, and everyone is allowed to speak.”

Contrary to Sheridan’s statement about wanting to hear from everyone,  the board then threatened to end public comment entirely if they faced any further disruption. 

Those who spoke out against Policy 8040 shared concerns that their opinions were not being heard and that these programs go against biology and student privacy rights. 

“Boys who identify as girls are no different from boys who identify as boys, except in their feelings about themselves. But boy, the feelings are not why we have separate bathrooms. We have separate bathrooms because of what our bodies do in them. Bodies matter. Calling girls bigots because they don’t want to use the toilet and a stall next to a boy or get undressed next to a boy is cruel and wrong. Girls’ bathrooms do not exist to validate identities,” said one student who spoke out according to WTOP News. 

Another hot button issue was the suspension of Tanner Cross, a teacher who spoke out publicly against the proposal. One attendee compared this decision to communist rule in China according to WTOP.

Despite a judge’s order to reinstate Cross, the school is appealing to Virginia’s Supreme Court. Angry parents argued that this is certain to fail and is a waste of taxpayer money.

Other parents blasted an official who allegedly used a school device for inappropriate internet searches. Some called on board members facing recall efforts to resign.

Former Republican Senator Dick Black was the last to speak, “It’s absurd and immoral for teachers to call boys girls and girls boys. You’re making teachers lie to students. And even kids know that it’s wrong.”

The former senator was critical of the board’s treatment of Tanner and for allegations that progressive community members had organized a list of their conservative neighbors to harass and publicly shame. 

Black also criticized the push for critical race theory in the classroom, saying it teaches students to judge one another based on the color of their skin. Black was cut off when his allotted time ran out and concluded by saying, “I am disgusted by your bigotry”. 

The crowd cheered following the former senator’s remarks, which led to the board’s unanimous vote to end public comment. 

“Shame on you” chants and resignation demands were hurled at the board by the crowd. Conservative parents sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” while board members filed out.

Well-known pundit and former Justice Department official, Ian Prior, is a father of two in Loudoun County and spokesman for Fight For Schools, an organization working to recall school board members. 

“The ultimate mission here is, it’s something that starts here and spreads across the country, where parents get a seat at the table. Whether it’s an association or organization, something where they have some kind of power to shape the future of education in their own towns,” Prior stated. 

Prior took to Twitter to hammer the board for violating participants’ First Amendment right.

The first man arrested refused to leave the meeting room until everyone had the opportunity to speak. He was issued a trespassing summons and later released. 

The second man was reportedly “acting disorderly and displayed aggressive behavior towards another attendee” according to Fox News which spoke with a Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson.

“A deputy intervened and the subject continued to be disorderly with the deputy. LCSO Deputies attempted to take him into custody and he physically resisted arrest. The subject was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest,” the spokesperson said.

The meeting was held ahead of a school board vote on Policy 8040 slated for August 10th of this year, but reportedly just 51 of the 259 concerned attendees signed up to speak were heard. 


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