Virginia school board rejects policies for LGBT employees citing Trump administration
A school board in the US state of Virginia has declined to protect its LGBT students and employees, using the Trump administration as its reasons.
The refusal came from the Loudoun County School Board earlier this month.
It voted down two separate measures to protect employees against discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity.
The second would have enhanced the school’s anti-discrimination policy for employees.
Out of nine board members, five opposed the first proposal and six opposed the second.
But the district is not alone, as two others have done the same in recent months.
All three have noted an uncertain future under the Trump administration for federal protections.
They also noted a case which is going to the US Supreme Court around a transgender boy who sued in Virginia to have the right to use the boys’ bathroom.
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Policies were also rejected in the Prince William County School Board in September to be delayed until June 2017 and the Fairfax County School board in July.
But in Loudoun, school employees have said they are scared to come out to colleagues in case there are repercussions.
The board’s vice chairman Brenda Sheridan told the Washington Post: “They can’t have pictures of their spouses and their families on their desk because of fear of retaliation and retribution.
“It is about assuring that when people come to work they are safe and protected.”
But those opposed to the measure include board chairman Jeff Morse, who suggests that society is more accepting, and that they are not necessary.
Others opposed have said they think the anti-discrimination policies could lead to transgender students being allowed to use bathrooms which line up with their gender identity, which they are also opposed to.
They say the Trump administration could roll back guidance issued by the Obama administration last year which stated that Title IX protects trans students against bullying.
The Board also expressed concerns that it could be opened up to legal action if it goes ahead with policies without federal guidance.