Two people were arrested for trespassing Thursday after refusing to leave a heated debate at a Virginia school board meeting over several policies, including one that would require students to use bathrooms on the basis of biological sex, rather than gender identity, according to WDBJ News, a Virginia-based outlet.
The Roanoke County School Board passed a policy that prohibits teachers from displaying any decor in the classroom or around the school which advocates for their “political views, sociopolitical issues, or religion,” according to WDBJ News. The board also began to discuss a policy that would require students to join sports teams on the basis of biological sex, before pausing the meeting due to disruptions from attendees and two arrests.
“Unfortunately, after the opportunity for public comment had ended, a handful of individuals chose to be disruptive and disrespectful during an informational presentation with outbursts using vulgar language,” the school district said in a statement to the outlet. “After two warnings, the school board chairman asked all visitors to leave. Sadly, some chose not to do so and had to be escorted out by police. This is not the kind of behavior we tolerate and these actions in no way are reflective of the many outstanding parents, students and staff that are part of the Roanoke County Public Schools community.”
The second policy that the board was debating would be in line with new guidelines released by Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration, WDBJ News reported. The newly released state guidelines require bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams to be separated on the basis of biological sex, rather than gender identity.
The proposed policy, similar to Youngkin’s guidelines, would require administrators to notify parents if a student wants to change their gender at school, according to WDBJ News.
“What I don’t agree with is the removing of individuality in our schools,” a teacher said during the public comment period, according to ABC 13 News. “Proposed policies strip staff of their ability to create vibrant and engaging learning environments all in the name of fear. You yell parents’ rights and yet you strip me of mine because they don’t align with yours.”
One of the individuals yelled “protect trans rights” while being handcuffed by police, WDBJ News reported.
After all meeting attendees were removed, many stayed outside the board room and continued to yell at the school board members, ABC 13 News reported.
Several schools within Virginia have decided they will be rejecting the Youngkin administration’s finalized policies, though school boards must adopt resolutions which align with the guidance, Fox 5 News reported. Alexandria City Public Schools decided Monday that it will not be complying with the state guidance.
Roanoke County Public Schools did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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