The Tip of the Transgender Spear in Virginia

Fairfax County School District has been at the forefront of the transgender issue debate.

By Nancy Flory Published on May 10, 2017

One Virginia school district was ahead of the curve. Even before President Obama issued his “transgender bathroom” rule, Fairfax County was planning to allow students access to bathrooms and locker rooms that did not correspond to their sex. They rushed the vote on the policies without giving parents the chance to respond. Now parents are fighting back. Last week, the Family Research Council hosted a panel led by FRC senior legal fellow Cathy Ruse to help equip parents for the fight.

Parents Fight Back

On May 7, 2015, Fairfax County School District voted 10-1 to allow transgender students to access bathrooms and other facilities that did not correspond with their biological sex. At a meeting, parents were told that the policies were necessary to protect transgender students and required by law. Neither were true, said Ruse. Parents requested a public hearing about the policies, but the school board refused. Normally, it would take months to make policy changes. It took the school board all of two weeks to vote to install these policies.

Some parents want to know why.

Rushing to Embrace Transgenderism

It takes a systemic approach to implement changes, said Elizabeth Schultz. Schultz is a Fairfax County School Board Member and a parent. They are not quick procedures. “From origination to full implementation of the adoption of gender identity within Fairfax County happened in a matter of weeks,” Schultz said. In this case, there was no study or community engagement. People on both sides of the issue are dissatisfied. They’ve “never … seen a consultant report” or had a data-driven discussion on how to address transgender issues.

“I was stunned,” said Meg Kilgannon, Executive Director of Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County and a parent. “How could something so very extreme have happened? And how was it done in two weeks?” It took ten years to put in place new school start times, she said. Kilgannon’s organization has taken steps to reverse the implemented policies. Kilgannon warned that if this could happen in Fairfax, it can happen anywhere. She suggested ways for other parents to fight changes in other school districts. Kilgannon encouraged both parents and concerned members of the community to get involved.

Transgender Students and the Law

Josh Hetzler is the Legislative Counsel for the Family Foundation of Virginia. He said that Virginia has been the epicenter of the transgender issue. Particularly Fairfax County, as it is the 10th-largest school district in the nation. Hetzler said there’s been a lot of confusion regarding the law. “Depending on who you talk to, you’re going to hear totally different things,” he explained. Part of the confusion has to do with Title IX and the Obama administration’s reinterpretation of the 1972 law regarding sex of students. “What they said was basically, ‘We are going to reinterpret the word sex to now include sexual orientation and gender identity,'” said Hetzler. “In 1972 they didn’t think they needed to define ‘sex.'”

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals questioned whether federal agencies, state or school boards would have the final say on the issue. The law has not yet been settled, he said.

Besides working with federal law’s Title IX, Virginia also has the Dillon Rule, which limits the power of Fairfax County. The county admits that “the Dillon Rule narrowly defines the power of local government. It also states that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a power has been conferred on a local government, then the power has not been conferred.” Fairfax County doesn’t have the power to revise nondiscrimination or harassment categories, Hetzler said. That’s especially true of those “that the General Assembly hasn’t included in the Virginia code.”

The transgender issue was “hanging by a thread,” but it “was beginning to infiltrate school boards over a lawless letter.” At just the right moment it seemed, Hetzler noted, a new administration came to town. The Trump administration revoked the letter. But people at the grassroots level are still needed to make a change.

The main takeaway, Hetzler said, is that elections matter. The rule of law is only as good as those who enforce and uphold it. “We’ve got to elect people who have the right values and who have the courage to uphold them when it’s difficult, because it’s a lot of pressure.”

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  • Gary

    If the parents there care about their children, the transgenders will have to be offended. If the parents don’t care about their children, then they will support the school boards accommodation of the transgenders.

    • James

      People say nothing because they want to be “nice”.

  • PridebeforetheFall ✓كافر‎‎

    This transgender fallacy is simply the machinations of the mentally unstable and the politically powerful with an agenda that cares nothing of those they claim to champion.

    The transgender push is being done to erode millennia of known and wholly accepted truths, truth being there has always been and still are two genders male and female. The fifty other imaginary genders are simply fairy tale, make believe fantasy.

    If eternal truths are no longer truths, nothing is sacred, nothing can be held in reverence and absolutely nothing will remain unchanged.

    • James

      There are two sexes*. Gender is a social construct with no biological basis.

      People with gender dysphoria are mere pawns in an attempt to do away with legal recognition of sex differences by administrative and judicial fiat. If there are 50 genders, then there are no genders and neither sex nor gender matters.

      Other than the troubled people who need help and aren’t getting it, women will be the big losers. Transwomen are competing in women’s sports and dominating. Imagine that.

      *Yes, I am aware of genetic anomalies that lead to people being intersex. They have been around for years and society and the medical profession has had few problems accommodating and treating them. Intersex individuals are not relevant to the discussion.

      • joebeckmann

        Until they want to pee, and then their “relevance” is dramatic.

        • James

          People who need to pee can be quietly accommodated by local institutions.

          But even the local accommodations of liberal areas aren’t good enough. This is because the end goal is not accommodation of individuals with gender identity disorder, but social and legal abolition of sex.

    • Sonny’s Mom

      The transgender fallacy is being imposed on kids for other reasons, as well. As one new leftist once said, “The issue is never the issue. [That is, the visible issue is never the real issue.] The issue is always the revolution.”
      Suggested reading: “The Origins of Political Correctness”, published on the Accuracy in Academia website.

  • Gary

    I assume the members of the school board are all adults. Adults who were elected to their positions. Adults who are considered to be reasonably intelligent, responsible, decent people. Then why did they vote to open restrooms and locker rooms in the schools to both sexes? Obviously, the morality and worldviews of “responsible adults” does not mean what it used to mean. Something has changed with America. It is most obvious in people under fifty, but not limited to them. Americans are rejecting many things that Americans of the past took for granted. Male and female are no longer defining terms for many people. Acceptable sexual behavior has become very broad. Morality has been rejected and redefined. Or so they think.

  • Denis Ian

    Our national capital … the center of us … that long-running freak-show …. is now thankfully threatened.

    And the freaks are freakin’ out because a renegade has spot-lighted this new Gomorrah. And he has brimstoned that he will exposed every last one of them.

    And for this … for this there is great applause … because this nation is sick of the creepy and the freaky. And tired of being over-drenched with the queer and the outlandish.

    They want balance back. And simple common sense. They want a government with fewer celebrities and more unknown magistrates of the common good.

    They want government to recede from their lives as much as possible … so that it once again becomes an occasional necessity of which we need only to be reminded.

    The people-class is not as interested in elegance as it is in regaining equilibrium … that missing bit of balance every society needs.

    Ordinary folks crave crave normality. And that’s why they chose a disturber. A status quo destroyer. Not for the noise, but to quiet the crazy noise … because it was that foul in Washington.

    This is a welcome mutiny to millions. A comeuppance they’ve long imagined. And they should volume up and shout their approval of this overdue exorcism … so that it actually gains even more momentum.

    And so, perhaps the fiddling will stop … and the great heap called Washington will emerge refreshed and re-centered on the business of serving those who spine this nation rather than those who despise it.

    Trump is here because they are there.

    Denis Ian

    • joebeckmann

      You sound like somebody who will “vet” trans kids – just to make sure their hardware is “appropriate.”

      • James

        Imagine you are working at a gym.

        A woman complains that there is a man in the locker room who is dressed in women’s clothing and acting like a peeping Tom. The man claims that he is transgendered and in the process of transitioning to a woman and the the woman is transphobic. There are no other witnesses.

        There are two possibilities: There is a transphobic woman and a transgender woman OR there is a cisgender heterosexual man posing as a transwoman to gain access to the woman’s locker room in order to be a peeping Tom.

        You seem like a good intersectional liberal. Who do you believe?

        Do you believe the transgender person and risk encouraging the spread of rape culture, if you are wrong or do you believe the woman and risk encouraging transphobia if you are wrong?

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