LEBANON, Va. (WCYB) — A passionate crowd was in Russell County Thursday evening, where a public hearing was held over a new policy in Virginia that addresses transgender students.
A packed school board meeting was held where people on both sides of the issue were able to share their thoughts on the policy.
The vast majority of people in attendance were against the Virginia Department of Education's model policy for treatment of transgender students.
Under the new policy, transgender students are allowed to use a name or gender that reflects their gender identity. They are also allowed access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.
In a unanimous decision, the school board voted to reject the model policy drafted by the Virginia Department of Education. The board also voted against critical race theory being taught in schools.
Board members said it was their job to protect all students, and they believe the school district is already in compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.
“I was elected by the people of this community and I intend to stand up to protect every kid and do the will of the people of Russell County—and not that of an overreaching state government,” school board member Bob Gibson said in a statement to News 5. “The most important thing we can do is protect every kid and to provide them with a safe and secure place to learn."
You can view Thursday's meeting below.