good evening i’m carolyn rice school board chair of the city of virginia beach and i hereby call this meeting to order at six o’clock p.m on this 24th day of august 21 pursuant to the virginia health commissioner’s order of public emergency statewide requirement to wear masks and k-12 schools issued august 12 2021 and virginia acts of assembly number 1303 chapter 456 and the center for disease control and prevention’s guidance of k-12 schools and the school board’s 20 21-22 reopening plan adopted august 10th of this year it’s determined physical distancing will be used in school board chambers as a health mitigation strategy therefore there will be limited public seating available on a first-come first-served basis beginning shortly before the workshop session members of the public as always will be able to observe the school board meeting through live streaming on vbschools.com broadcast on vbtv channel 47 and on zoom and on behalf of all my colleagues i welcome the public both those in person and viewing and listening from home this evening with that madam clerk please take the verbal role thank you madam chair present in school board chambers is chairwoman rye miss melnick miss manning miss hughes miss franklin miss anderson miss holtz miss felton and miss riggs attending via zoom is miss weems and miss owens thank you and for the record miss owens is remote due to health reasons and mrs weems for family health reasons so i now ask all president to join me in a moment of silence and mrs franklin has some remarks to add first thank you yes i’d like to actually dedicate this moment of silence to recognize the difficult situation facing our us military their families u.s citizens and our afghan allies so if we could please just take a moment of silence to recognize and them stand as you are able for the pledge of allegiance i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all right there are no uh employee or public awards or recognitions this evening so that leads us to adoption of the agenda uh and before i ask for any other modifications at each of your uh seats is uh are the drafts of of two motions that we asked our mrs linetty to to uh to prepare for us so i’m making so noting these two modifications uh are there any other additions or modifications where would they be added under action is that correct yes thank you for that what would it be i’ll clarify that in a moment dna are there any other modifications mrs hughes yes i would ask that policy 5.7 be moved to information due to our by-law 1-3-2-c it says that whenever we are going to all policy proposals once they come out of the policy review committee they’re supposed to go to information and then they’re voted on at the next regular meeting i believe i need a second for amendments well a second to discuss i move i’d second that yeah i don’t believe that uh mrs riggs are we up for discussion yes okay um well the reason why we decided to move it on for action is because we need to start our school year our 21-22 school year we have um this is our last meeting before school starts and it is required or requested by the legislature to start it that is why we decided to go ahead and put it up for action so i just wanted to explain why it is in for action now i do understand the reason that we did it and we discussed it at policy review that that was the reason but that is a direct violation of our policy our procedure is that it’s suppose all of the proposed policies and amendments are to go to information and then be voted on at the next meeting and i think we should stay consistent with all of our policies and mrs luddy could you clarify for us uh whether that is i know that that’s what what is the typical uh what mrs hughes is pointing out is bylaw 132 approval of content sufficiency form presentation policy adoption amendment suspension under subsection c is adoption and amendment statement policy proposal suggested amendments for existing policy shall be submitted to members of the school board and superintendent talks about prior to regular school me vote for adoption shall take place at the next succeeding meeting i’m sorry after this proposed at the next city regular meeting a majority vote of the membership of the school board shall be needed for adoption of amendment i will note that you have subsection d suspension policy the school bus shall be subject to suspension only on a majority vote going on meeting procedures on there i do think you have the ability as this is a bylaw you can override your bylaw or suspend your bylaw if you want to you can do that through amendment and to do that you have to have notice and a majority vote of the board if you have not provided notice that you’re going to ask for a suspension you actually have to have a unanimous note of the actually you don’t have anything that deals with suspension and bylaws you do an amendment of a bylaw you don’t have anything specifically says what you do with a suspension of a bylaw really we’re not supposed to do it can i just ask this since excuse me out of order i’m sorry okay there is precedent for policies going directly to action so that’s why i’m confused correct and you often take things from information to um typically comes information to action but sometimes you go directly to consent so you can put that on there and make a decision as to how you you don’t actually have a bill that deals with suspension of bylaws on this so you could certainly make a motion to suspend the bylaw for the purposes of allowing this on this particular policy to bypass the information mrs anderson so it was brought up earlier that we thought we might we might want to ask for a special meeting to consider this so i’m not sure but if if this does not pass no the special meeting is not for this okay all right so but we could have a special meeting just to vote on this if that’s what we so choose can we read again what bylaw this is and what it says it’s 1-3-2-c um it says policy proposals and suggested amendments to existing policies shall be submitted to members of the school board and to the superintendent in writing prior to a regularly scheduled school board meeting at which such proposed policies or amendments shall be read or discussed a vote for adoption shall take place at the next succeeding regular meeting of the school board a majority vote of the membership of the school board shall be needed for the adoption or amendment revision of a policy so apparently we wouldn’t be able to do it at a special meeting anyway it would be the next regular scheduled meeting i mean i’ll admit i was the policy committee chair for three years and i know we’ve been operating with on because certain times because of time limits that we did present certain policies not often but occasionally directly to action again you do not have a bylaw that deals with suspension of bylaws so i think you could make a motion to suspend that bile off the purposes of adding this to the agenda i’ve got it here we we we all we have to do to suspect to suspend our bylaws is to have two-thirds um two-thirds majority can i okay it’s part of our it’s part of our guidelines no it’s not show me where can can i please okay so ms linetti just said that there’s nothing in our bylaws that address suspension of bylaws and i have robert’s rules of order newly revised edition most recent i’ve printed them out and it talks about it talks about bylaws constitution bylaws 2-8 page 11 of robert’s rules of order says bylaws cannot be suspended with the exception of clauses that provide for their own suspension under specified conditions or clauses in the nature of the rules of order described it it says that rules of order can that deal with parliamentary procedure during the meeting can be suspended but it said says except for such rules and for clauses that provide for their own suspension as stated above rules in the bylaws cannot be suspended so robert’s rules of order i’ve got the book here and the documents if anyone wants to read them does the wording allow for it to start as information and then add it as a we have that agenda vote on remaining action the next regular scheduled meeting i mean that’s what the verdict is looking to you madam again that would be a suspension of the bylaw procedure in there so you could move this to information and put it on information and then you would just need to have a next regular scheduled school board meeting deal with this what’s required to to do otherwise in terms of number of votes needed you can’t there’s nothing again i think we’d have to look more closely at robertsville versus the suspension of the procedures here and also look at standing rules on there i think at this time maybe best just to put it on information and we can take a look at it after information decide if we need to make a motion to amend it and mend the agenda and get back to possibly the special meeting we can’t that has to be the regulations it would have to be the regular meeting what are the implications um for starting school without this in place again as i was presenting during the workshop most of the things you are already required to do by federal law or state law so most protections are in place you would have to deal with the fact whether the virginia department of education or another agency a state agency was going to in some way punish you for not implementing the model guidelines before school started they said most of the things are you’ve already most of you have already put in place mrs franklin mrs franklin oh actually um i mean you’re telling us really there’s no other alternative to get this to to vote on this tonight i just need to know that as the chair and then it seems back and look at it a little more carefully if you put it on information we would be able to take it up on information then i would have some time to look at whether it’s a procedural if you put on information you can deal with it on information and we can decide i would have some time to look at the rules to see if there’s another way to handle this you need to decide at that point whether it could be voted on later tonight yeah what i would suggest at this point in your adoption agenda is to move this to information so that we can do the presentation on it it would give me some time to go back and look at it and there and i can bring some information back to you but i don’t want to hold up the whole meeting now when you have other thing you have a lot on your agenda that needs to be taken care of all right so back to agenda adoption the modifications are one more time so the present so moving action item c to information item c following the policy review recommendations that’s what we generally do i put it at the so that leaves open c and so we have c and d for the other two motions that um that are here to discuss at the proper time so is everybody clear on the modified agenda that we’re voting on one more time action is a is remains personnel report b unsolicited p p e a c is the motion regarding health protocols for school board meetings d is the motion on school board mask accommodations and then moving down to information we’re adding item c the policy five seven so with those modifications motion to approve mrs anderson second um mrs hughes okay all in favor please show a raised hand please raise your hands one more time miss owens how do you vote oh yeah thank you miss weems how do you vote yes thank you madam chair we have unanimous vote to for the motion for the adoption of the agenda as amended thank you that brings us to superintendent’s report dr spence we look forward to your report yes ma’am thank you and good evening madam chairwoman and members of the board here are a few items of interest for you and our families to know this evening first we are as you all know only a couple of weeks away from welcoming back our students to in-person instruction five days a week for our new school year with that in mind please don’t forget our families and community can find current information available resources and the school division calendar on vbschools.
com and parents and guardians please don’t forget to familiarize yourself with parent view which houses important school and educational information for your child of course we understand that you and your family likely have questions about how we’ll maintain a safe learning environment for your children and our staff so please join us for one of our vb safe together webinars taking place on august 26th and september 2nd both at 5 30 pm in these sessions we will be covering everything from classroom cleaning protocols to how athletic competitions will look to contact tracing and notifications visit vbschools.com to register and after registering you will see the confirmation email with the details about joining the webinars via zoom i do hope you all be able to join us this thursday for our first session now is also a good time to make sure your contact information is up to date with your child’s school this means email addresses phone numbers and other information the school divisions rapid notification system alert now allows parents and legal guardians to receive timely communication about things like inclement weather need to know events available resources coveted notifications and more staff it’s also important that your information is up to date and this can be done on the internet within the employee self-service tab there are downloadable instructions available on the right side of the page if you are having issues and not receiving any of the voice email or text messages that the division is sending out through alert now please email alertnowinfo vbschools.com well the last portion of my report this evening is a little bittersweet a very dear colleague and someone i am lucky enough to call a friend and whom i respect greatly mrs sharan lewis is retiring in august from the school division after 44 years of service she has made a huge impact on several generations of students and staff within our school division but don’t just take my word for it check out this video celebrating the fabulous mrs lewis she had absolutely no idea and let me tell you uh that was a feat in itself because mrs lewis always knows what’s going on the whole thing is just really a big surprise for and i’m glad we were able to do it and pull it off i know i speak for the tidewater alumni chapter and the entire virginia state university family we congratulate her on her retirement and wish her well she’s one of a kind and she’s as you know beloved here in virginia beach and rightfully so i mean she’s touched every aspect of the organization and she’s just a consummate professional and a wonderful human being i was overwhelmed and that song simply the best is not about me it’s about the people that you saw in the stands they are simply the best and they made my work in virginia beach so rewarding so enjoyable and i just feel so blessed to have worked with so many wonderful people miss lewis has done so much for virginia beach schools over more than four decades when you do the math how many people she impacted children teachers parents the whole community that kind of dedication we need to celebrate and recognize i’d like to tell miss lewiston thanks for taking a chance on me i could have been teaching pe at creeds for the rest of my career but she stuck with me and she was the launching pad she’s the straw that stirs the drink bro come on i can’t think of an aspect of my life that mrs lewis hasn’t been an influence on or encouraged me to pursue um so she’s been a huge part of my life and my growth as a as a human and a profession we often tell her what a mentor and a friend that she has been to so many in this division over her 44 year career um but being as modest as she is i think she just takes it in stride and doesn’t make a big deal of it i think it’s an opportunity for her to really look back over the years that she’s given to the school system and obviously to see truly how much of an impact that she’s made and then an opportunity to pass the torch to the next person it’s been 44 wonderful years and i don’t regret a day that i spent in virginia beach working with some of the best people the greatest leaders that you’ve ever come across and the most awesome students that we will ever ever see so i i am just so grateful and thankful that’s all i can say i’ve been truly blessed just truly blessed she can’t be with us here this evening but we do want to congratulate her on her upcoming retirement all of us know she will be greatly missed and madam chairman thank you that concludes my report and we appreciate everyone who had a role in that video all right approval of the meeting minutes from august 10 2021 uh any modifications to the minutes all right hearing none motion to approve mrs riggs a second this is manning please show your approval with raised hand miss weems how do you vote yes thank you thank you and miss owens how do you vote alpha vote yeah thank you madam chair we have unanimous vote thank you madam clerk all right that brings us to hearing of citizens and delegations on formal agenda items and we will now hear from those citizens and delegations who signed up with the school board clerk prior to this meeting person signed up to speak on formal agenda items will be called up three at a time the speaker should proceed to line up when the speaker’s name is called for speakers who are outside of school board chambers school division staff will bring those speakers into the hallway to line up in-person speakers will be called first but followed by those participating through zoom or telephone we ask that speakers begin speaking once their name is called as a reminder each has four minutes to present and may be given a thirty second and we’ll be given a thirty second warning before time expires once the speaker’s time has expired we ask that the speakers stop making remarks to allow the next speaker to be queued to speak if a speaker is not present when called to speak or not online when called to speak the school board at its discretion may allow the speaker to speak at the end of the public comment session the purpose of hearing public comments at this point in the agenda is for members of the public to address the school board be regarding matters on tonight’s formal meeting agenda if a speaker begins speaking on matters not on the formal meeting agenda the in-person speaker will be ruled out of order and requested to just discontinue remarks and the online speaker will be asked as well to discontinue if the speaker continues to address the board regarding matters not on tonight’s agenda the chair will rule the speaker out of order and request that the ins person speaker leave the podium or that the online speaker be cut off so we might meet we may proceed to the next speaker any discussions regarding whether the speaker is addressing a formal agenda item or following the court decorman order rules will not extend the speaker’s four-minute time period the school board reserves the right to maintain appropriate decorum and order in the school board chambers so that the board and viewing public are able to observe and hear the school board meeting public comment is only allowed when a member of the public has been called up to speak to the school board during a public comment section speaking out of turn excessive cheering or clapping heckling of speakers will be considered violations of decorum and order should members of the public interfere with this orderly conduct of the meeting the board reserves the right to take appropriate actions to restore order and allow the business of the board to continue without disruption should it be necessary the chair will pause the school board meeting until order can be restored and the board reserves the right to discontinue public comments in order to continue with the agenda finally please keep in mind the school board invites the public to also submit comments through our group email account which is listed on our noted on our website if any speaker signed up for the formal agenda comment section would like to speak on informal and non-agenda matters then we ask you speak with division staff in the home and to um to move you to the appropriate section of the agenda if if a speaker is ruled out of order once the speaker has begun addressing the board the speaker will not have the opportunity to continue remarks later in the informal public comments section of the agenda we do thank the speakers tonight who’ve taken the time to prepare their remarks and so with that madam clerk please introduce our first speaker of the evening our first speaker this evening we’ll start with tonya rivers since our first speaker is not here it’s going to be tonya rivers vincent smith and then amy morris so tanya rivers welcome thank you i’m a parent of two vbcps students i’m here tonight to speak in support of adopting the vdoe model policy for the treatment of transgender and non-binary students the policy states the key guiding principle is that all children have the right to learn free from discrimination and harassment it has been demonstrated that students cannot learn an environment in which they do not feel safe this includes using using correct pronouns and names when gender and gender expansive students feel safe they are more likely to thrive in academic setting mental health has been an important topic that has been brought up at these meetings and a mental health task force was even formed what about the mental health of these students as stated in the policy 84 percent of transgender youth feel unsafe at schools and 73 percent of lgbtq plus youth have experienced verbal threats because of their identity 54 of trans or student transgender students have contemplated suicide according to the 2019 trevor project survey many lg btq students experience bullying and harassment in their own homes and aren’t accepted for who they are many experience homelessness because their families turn their backs on them these students need a place that they can feel safe and protected transgender students should be able to use the facilities that correspond to their gender identity period this includes restrooms and locker rooms the harmful trauma-inducing rhetoric surrounding transgender individuals in restrooms needs to stop the facts are that over 93 of sexual assaults are committed by cis men as a sexual adult assault survivor myself i can tell you that a predator is a predator they are not going to look at a bathroom sign and say hey i can’t go in there it says women they take advantage of any opportunity to prey on their victims the reality is that transgender non-binary individuals are harassed and attacked disproportionately for simply entering spaces that correspond with our gender identity approximately 70 percent of transgender students avoid using school bathrooms in fear of being harassed this leads to health conditions like kidney infections and utis gender facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms are intimidating and cause anxiety due to concern as to how they are treated by forcing students to use a dedicated separate bathroom you are isolating them and making them feel segregated from their peers access to bathrooms and safety in them is not a privilege and a right it is a right for everyone not just for those who fit nicely in the boy or girl boxes involving extracurricular activities is important to the school experience this fosters relationships and investment in the students by supporting the school by restricting access to these activities from transgender students you can you are telling them that their involvement does not matter that they can’t contribute to the school community transgender students participate in extracurricular activities for the same reasons that all students do to have fun challenge themselves and be part of a team where they feel included and accepted students who are transgender deserve the chance to succeed and thrive like any other student all students deserve the right to be respected respected and learned in an environment that is free from harassment by allowing students to use their chosen pronouns and names you are telling the student that you matter and that you are valid the misgendering using incorrect pronouns or using dead names are all humiliating and derogatory to students mental health building a culture of learning that celebrates gender diversity and providing accessible resources we not only improve the lives of transgender and non-binary students but we also build awareness and empathy in all students what if it was your 30 seconds what if it was your child would you let the would you tell them they cannot be who they are and turn your back on them or to do everything in your power to make sure they are safe respected and given the same rights as everyone else transgender and non-binary students deserve the dignity and respect that most people take for granted i fully support the voa model policy and urge the board to do the right thing for our students and implement it thank you our next speaker will be vincent smith then amy morris and then kathleen slindy welcome i come to you with a little bit of a different angle tonight than you’re going to hear from all these people out here lined up to yell at you i’m going to tell you that most of these folks out here have valid concerns i’m not going to get involved in the issue of who should and should not share a bathroom that’s y’all’s problem to fix what i’m going to tell you is their concerns are valid and they should be treated as such no matter how they present them i apologize for what’s coming so i understood that i understand yeah i’ve read this stuff i understand a lot of this stuff is mandated by the general assembly you’re being told to do a lot of these things i understand that but what you’ve been left with by the general assembly is an architectural shortcoming and a budget shortcoming that you as far as i know nobody’s addressed yet nobody in here nobody out there has addressed the fact that you are working with structures that were designed in 1950s standards and you’re trying to implement 2021 societal woke whatever you want to call it problems into you need to figure out how you’re going to find the money to redesign all of your locker rooms and your bathrooms to meet these new requirements that’s the that’s the problem that everybody here has missed and i see you all shaking your heads and looking down and i think you might agree with me a little bit i’ve been to other countries where they addressed this issue before they even knew it was a problem because of how they designed their bathrooms their bathrooms are individual stalls that open into the hallway not into a common bathroom and then the hand washing stations are sinks on the wall in the hallway also makes it pretty easy to figure out who washed their hands so i’m going to leave you with that that you need to figure out how you’re going to create a budget program you’re going to need to get your lobbyists to go back to richmond and say hey you passed these laws but you didn’t give us the funds and the tools that we need to fix the issue and you’re going to have to figure out where you’re gonna where you’re gonna find that money dr spence what are you gonna cut out of your budget to find the money to redesign your buildings to meet these new needs you’re gonna cut sports you’re gonna cut arts what are we gonna do maybe you gotta go to 12-month school on a rotating basis where each semester of students has a different semester off every year to where you don’t need new schools for a while if you keep the schools occupied 12 months a year the kids don’t need to be home in the summer to bring in the crops anymore i get it everybody wants their summer off my wife loves having her summer off but this system was created so the children were home to help with the farm i don’t think there’s that many farmers in this area right now that don’t have a two million dollar combine picking their corn so i’m not telling you that’s the solution i’m telling you you’re going to have to start thinking outside the box to figure out how you’re going to solve a problem that i get it you were handed by richmond because i deal with a lot of problems that are handed to us by richmond like the other one you’re getting ready to talk about when you try to create a gun free zone here i’m going to be back so that’s all i got for you and i do wish you luck with the rest of the folks out here because i’m going to get in my truck and leave thank you very much our next speaker is amy morris then kathleen slindy then nicole pixlr welcome blessed day policies should be grounded in data not opinion recognizing male and female separated spaces in sports is purposeful there is no such thing as a trans child it doesn’t exist in reality none die or suffer from using accurate pronouns and facilities there is no person born with the wrong body by accident and kids don’t suddenly come up with this idea on their own they’re taught to hate themselves by gross opportunist that should have never had access stop telling children falsely that sex is different than gender there are two it is two personality and outfit choice don’t determine who qualifies to keep their birth name and sex organs why was there no discussion or public notice copy of suggested policy yet there is a vote today virgin dems funded this in september 2020 so he got the money already what you are about to vote on is a policy that only democrats refer to as anti-bullying and or trans rights the policy is fraudulent it intends harm to all involved and it’s knowingly written for that reason the policy intends to punish most people who are simply honest and use correct terminology the policy forces participation in the socially constructed perverted cult that is classified as lgbt rights talk to the gay people they’re mad too equity equality virginia the new pop-up rich non-profits are northam’s clan he put them scapegoats on his boards to do their dirty deeds cases on the books across the map pointing out things like loss of custody to the state teachers fired for not using made-up language children mutilated after being labeled drugged and told that they’re in the wrong body by accident by liars based on nothing but lies girls being shamed raped forced ignored in grade schools it’s now evident why an abortion clinic and a sex heaven and fetish advocacy has control of the atmosphere in k-12 my hand experienced my first-hand experience being told that a five-year-old boy in my family had a penis by accident was 2016. strangers employees of the state claimed they knew day one he was trans also known as a girl and uh that’s a boy in a body that’s wrong according to liars none making the claim had any experience with what they were calling trans child they can’t even define it right now i recorded it all everybody’s going to love what i have to share with this state i was told i couldn’t use his birth name or i’d lose rights to see him some involved were just found guilty this year after 2016 of child abuse and mental cruelty i don’t know why the virginia dens changed fgm to a misdemeanor it’s a felony in this country i don’t know why miss owens may or may not have a report regarding guidance for seven-year-olds in 2018 not allowed to speak the words you are a boy or how did they uh tell girls that a boy was in their bathroom what parents and teachers were told then according to the vote today there is no such policy 30 seconds is intending to punish most who are simply being honest equal to bullying they have a law for it now they’re saying that they’re going to request schools report parents to cps and social services if they don’t comply with these made-up rules that had no real guidance they did and they also changed the policy to have schools report incidents to the police if i had six more minutes and a main stream and that is time i’d end this all real quick thank you our next speaker is kathleen slindy then nicole pixler and then mark stevens welcome good evening chairwoman ryan vice chair melnick board members and dr spence my name is kathleen slindy and i serve as the president of the vba i’m here to speak on agenda 13c policy 5-9 non-discrimination non-harassment of students and the mandate that all school divisions adopt policy to support transgender and non-binary students the mission of the mission statement of the vbea says to advocate for educational education professionals and to unite our members to fulfill the promise of public education and to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and independent world with that mission guiding us we support any and all policies that support our students learning environments and our students we support regulations that ensure student educator and family voices are centered to create welcoming and affirming schools for all regardless of race gender gender identity background culture nationality or zip code safe and affirming schools are a core element of student success we want all of our students to thrive and that can only happen when our schools are places where all students are protected and empowered policies and regulations that include specific to ensure that are necessary and oversight to ensure that they’re followed will help us reach and teach every student this policy aligns with many parts of vbcps’s strategic action agenda for 2021-22 particularly with the compass to 2025 student-centered for student success goal number two students well-being it says create an inclusive and learning environment that supports the physical and mental health of all students and strengthens the social emotional skills they need to become balanced resilient learners who are personally and socially responsible the greatest superpower of all public educators truly that all public educators truly have is their ability to do this to meet every child where they are to embrace who they are without judgment and to teach them so they can reach their full potential we ask you to ensure that the policy and regulations put forth reflect the spirit of our work and create the safe and affirming environment all students and educators need thank you our next speaker is nicole pixler then mark stevens then darren scott carlton welcome thank you for having me good evening my name is nicole pixler i’m the co-executive director of stand up for kids in hampton roads we have homeless and disconnected youth ages 12 to 24. i’m also the co-founder and facilitator of you these are monthly meetings soon to be twice a month for youth ages 12 to 18 who identify as part of the lgbtq community in virginia beach sorry it’s hard to talk through this the national statistic is that 40 of homeless youth identify as lgbtq plus this percentage is even higher in virginia beach stand up for kids started you as a safe place for identifying youth every excuse me for identifying youth every youth and adult that matters should feel safe included and have a sense of belonging this past wednesday at our monthly meeting i brought up this policy to our youth that identify and left it open to discussion the most popular comment that was made was that there should be an all genders bathroom not just male and female youth should not have to pick a gender when they’re still trying to find themselves and can barely already and be confused by what they identify as the following is from 2021 trevor project national survey on lgbtq plus youth from the mental health standpoint it is the most comprehensive of its kind and surveys over 40 000 lgbtq plus youth in the us 72 percent of lgbtq plus youth reported symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder excuse me 62 of lgbtq plus youth reported symptoms of major depressive disorder 42 percent of lgbtq plus youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past 12 months within the past year nearly half of all lgbtq plus wanted counseling but didn’t receive it for one reason or another 75 percent of lgbtq plus youth reported discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity only one in three youth found their home to be lgbtq affirming 30 percent of lgbtq youth experienced food insecurity in the past month let me reiterate 75 percent of youth reported discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity i stand before you this evening mind blown that we even have to vote on the treatment of non-binary and transgendered students they are people just like you and i they should be no question they should be treated with love and respect just like everybody else you have the ability to make sure these students don’t feel left behind they can not only survive high school being different by society’s standards but they can thrive i am in complete support of passing this and i hope that you will take these sometimes very vulnerable lives into consideration when voting they need to be provided safety and dignity just like anyone else their success and their future is in your hands thank you our next speaker is mark stevens then darren scott carlton then thomas canaant welcome good evening thank you very much i’m mark stevens i’m the executive check executive director of stand up for kids and i’m also a virginia beach human rights commissioner i’m here tonight to say that we need to do the right things by our youth our youth are dying on the streets our youth are hurting themselves because we’re not protecting them and everybody in this room has a responsibility to protect these youth nicole just went over all the statistics that we see and what we hear in our group i started this program a year ago you because nobody in virginia beach had a program for our youth there was no place for them to go there was not a safe place for them to go and i couldn’t believe this so i started this program because i knew we had to do something just like tonight you have to do something to protect these kids keep them safe keep them feeling good i’ve had people come to our meetings they run our cities they’re on our police force they’ve all succeeded but the pain they’ve had through school is unbelievable and we shouldn’t continue to let this happen to our kids our kids need to be safe and have a safe place every kid in our city and we’re the largest city in virginia and we need to do the right thing by our youth protect them keep them safe and that’s our responsibility so all i can say tonight is we need to do the right thing and protect all our youth and i appreciate it thank you very much and good luck because i if this is what our kids go through that i saw in this parking lot we need to change and i feel bad for you all to have to listen to this hate and to see the hate in this parking lot upset me highly and i don’t understand it in our city again thank you very much our next speaker is darren scott carlton then thomas canaan then kendra fraser welcome thank you that’s conant for the record good evening i want to express my disgust at the cowardly efforts of this board to avoid public scrutiny forced masking at the point of a gun limiting attendance tonight to keep the public outside is the pathetic attempt to eliminate opposition to whatever you do in addition presenting policy five seven with only a few days for public review is unacceptable adopting policy five seven is effectively seeding school board responsibility and oversight directly to dr spence who is not elected nor accountable to voters another example is spineless methods of those who want to impose their will on thousands of students and parents in the city without being accountable for their outcomes i noted that policy 57 does not specify policies required in the doe model which state code requires you to to use it does not say that the school can hide a student’s gender request when communicating with parents which undermines parents rights in virginia law 1-2-4 which states a parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing education and care of the parent’s child which is echoed by u.
s supreme court decisions neither does it specify that students should be allowed to use restrooms locker rooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity and school staff should not confront them about their gender identity upon entry into the restroom nor as the model implies that accommodations on overnight trips may include students of either sex i’m glad these are not in policy 5-7 my problem is the policy gives the superintendent authority to change it without the approval of the board so you could adopt this tonight and tomorrow it could be changed to codify everything in the doe model who will then be accountable if a girl declares herself trans and is sexually assaulted in a boy’s restroom or locker room who will answer if the wishes of an elementary age child are hidden from his parents while the school affirms he is a girl when this violates the parents deeply held belief that god created male and female and sex based on empirically validated chromosomes is fixed from the moment of conception and cannot be changed who will ensure the safety and well-being of all the students who are forced to undress in a locker room with someone who is biologically of the other sex what would you say to a parent whose child gets a kidney infection or worse by refusing to use the restroom at school out of fear for someone of the opposite sex may be there will it be the teacher the administrator dr spence if you put this in this in his hands you can simply wash your hands and blow off accountability lastly by cdc estimates cdc estimates that are typically very loose three-tenths of one percent of people struggle with transgender issues and the doa model says recognizing a child is transgender does not necessarily require any substantiating evidence nor any required minimum duration of expressed gender identity so this policy subjects over sixty five thousand students and their parents to the expressed feelings of 195 students in virginia beach we can all agree that no child should be bullied for any reason and none would object to a policy of non-discrimination and support for all students this doesn’t mean that kids claiming to be or being told by adults that they are transgender should be allowed to force other children into environments where they feel uncomfortable conflicted or violated if policy 57 is meant to truly promote equality then every student deserves the same right to feel safe and secure in school and receive fair and equal treatment especially given the fact that the number of cities who accept their biological sex far exceeds those who do not please reject this policy and the dode model from which it came we can absolutely insist that all children treat each other kindly without indoctrinating an entire generation in gender confusion and i want to congratulate the ladies who are here without mask tonight apparently the gun’s not pointed at them thank you our next speaker is kendra fraser then amy solaris then lauren burroughs welcome hello um i’ve never done this before so i’m not part of any organization i’m not part of uh any of that i’m just a parent um my daughter is 11 rising 6th grader um and i really don’t have an opinion either way on people’s choices on what they want to do with their life who you want to be with who you want to be as a person is none of my concern my only concern is for a smaller child to have to be in a new environment she’s never done anything like middle school is a big difference than elementary school she’s having to switch classes she’s having to change out for gym these are all things that she’s never had to experience before there’s still things about life she’s still trying to understand in general the idea of having to be in a locker room and maybe see something that she probably shouldn’t see is doesn’t quite sit right with me um i don’t have a problem with them using bathrooms if there’s a way to shield those who are younger from being able to see things they don’t understand um i understand that they’re from what i’ve heard about things over the last couple years since this has kind of taken full force that it can be something that’s understood as a small child um i get it but then i don’t because they still ask where babies are coming from how do you understand that i just feel like when it comes down to it if y’all make the decision to integrate or i don’t even know the correct verbiage i’m sorry but if you make that decision um i ask that y’all find a way to do it to be able to make sure everybody is still safe in that situation and still able to acknowledge um that they’re not all high schoolers that y’all are talking about some of these are still babies um that that’s the part that i’m not okay with you know i don’t want to have a comment i’m not i don’t want to be forced to have a conversation with my child that i don’t feel like she’s ready for um that’s something that i’m asking you all to consider when y’all make that choice because if you do it in a way where we have to i think that can cause a bigger problem and i just want y’all to to keep that in mind all right thank you i don’t need the home our next speaker is amy solaris then lauren burroughs then jordan hydermans welcome hi for my speech i’m six feet away i’m going to pull my mouse down because i’d like to be heard ma’am i’m going to respectfully remind you of the expectation that was clearly indicated on the post i just wanted to see how much respect you would give to people taking time off of our schedule to come in and talk to you i’ll be discussing agenda items of policy five seven and five twenty nine the transgender policy five seven merely reaffirms the anti-bullying policies we already have an effect these issues oh excuse me it only goes further to limit parental rights these children should not be doubt should be dealt with on a personal and private level with their parents not with the schools nor school staff and one of the items in this policy says for accommodations for overnight trips adults who are not students should not share rooming changing or bathing facilities with students the words should not leave the doors open for this to happen this is one example of where our children could be in harm’s way where people are not questioned when walking into opposite sex changing or bathing areas there is the chance for possible sexual assaults my 14 year old daughter should not be forced to share a locker room with a biological boy nor any biological male who identifies as a girl where is my daughter’s privacy rights when when why does she lose her rights who will be responsible for these sexual assaults when they occur i’m going to switch gears and talk about policy 529 the awards for achievement i noticed i’ve noticed this a little bit item items d valedictorian salutatorian and item e class rank are completely crossed off advanced class is going to be stopped what is the school board doing and why why are students not challenged to do their best anymore to become top of their class where is merit in the classroom i believe this is excuse me i believe this is another decision by the school board bringing critical race theory into our schools by making things equitable i’m talking about the cancellation of the valedictorian and salutatorian and canceling class ranks a school bus school board should support students motivate students and challenge students to do their best there are life lessons new generations are no longer learning to fail is good you learn from failing i have a background in law i remember taking education classes children in the law classes family law classes the common denominator of all these is based on the best interest of the children everything you do as a city public school board should be in the best interest of the children what we are seeing is the complete opposite your non-transparency transparency dropping courses for certain students sneaking lesson plans which involve critical race theory taking away parental rights with possible vaccine mandates mass mandates and this new transgender policy is all too clear you are only interested in furthering your political beliefs virginia state code states parental responsibility includes public school education atmosphere supportive of individual rights and b a school board shall provide opportunities for parental and community involvement in every school in the division the virginia beach city public school board is restricting our parental rights with each new policy and even access now to our schools and when our children are in school stop taking away parental rights it takes a community to raise our two seconds supreme court of the united states troxell v granville noted liberty interest of parents in the care custody and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by the court virginia public schools state mandated educational mission is to teach children reading writing science history and arithmetic not beliefs the case also stated schools operate loco parentis authority meaning the absence of parental control which reasonably enables schools to ensure and maintain a money that is time this does not exceed parental authority our next speaker is lauren burrows then jordan heiderman’s and then kathleen brown okay jordan heidemanns welcome good evening thanks for the opportunity to speak in regards to policy 5-7 this evening as i do so i have two requests for you to consider as you uh consider the proposed amendments and these regulations first i would ask that you not approve any policy that allows for regulations or amendments to regulations on sensitive or controversial matters to be adopted without school board approval or without input from the community while i understand the need for the superintendent to be responsible to draft and implement regulations on policy in many areas matters that directly or could directly impact a parent’s god-given stewardship of their children should not be placed in the hands of any one individual i ask this on behalf of both proponents and opponents of some of the proposed regulation in this evening’s board packet we parents and guardians want the opportunity to give input on these things and you honestly all need to avail yourself to the opportunity to hear from us the students in your classrooms for whom these policies are being drafted are our kids a few years ago i attended an informational meeting on proposed changes to virginia beach’s sex education curriculum the event was announced in multiple ways the material was thoroughly communicated at the event and parental input was encouraged all along the way as a dad i was impressed and i was grateful and in that case the adjustments to the curriculum were relatively benign and uncontroversial i’m saddened that within a short period of time we’re at the place where a much more impactful policy is being decided upon with little notice little review and little opportunity to receive input from the parents and guardians that have entrusted you with some of the education of their children additionally as you review these proposed regulations i ask that you consider that these do not solve the problems of discrimination but merely adjust who the subjects of discrimination might be is it not at least slightly prejudicial that those who embrace their biological gender may now have to find alternatives to using their locker room in order to seek privacy will removing themselves from their classmates settings to avoid embarrassment or potentially de-clothed exposure to peers of the opposite sex not be a bit stigmatizing i know that in many ways the ship has sailed on the bigger matters related to how we engage this transgender phenomenon and it is indeed a phenomenon with younger school age kids when the state deftly drafts policy that calls for tampons and boys restrooms it’s relatively easy to see how we’ve decided to define the love and care for those experiencing gender dysphoria i am concerned that such decisions and the trajectory that we are on will not help but will ultimately do further harm and hinder all students from equality public education compassion for those identifying as transgender is not reached only through unquestioned affirmation my wife and i and many others that i interact with on a regular basis are sincerely bothered by the ability you might give a child to alter gender identity without appearance knowledge and approval a child could hand write a letter add their youthful signature and completely alter his or her present and future circumstances no minor should have the ability to make socially altering decisions without a parent’s knowledge and consent if you set this precedent you plan to then provide for these children pay their bills plan their futures walk with them as they likely according to statistics detransition years down the road no you don’t my 12 year old can’t walk into a pediatrician’s office unaccompanied first and that is time we need to stop playing games with the lives of the children in our city thank you our next speaker is kathleen brown then tim kessner and then christopher hollinger welcome hello um i just want to start by saying i am extremely angry at the board right now and i’m going to keep my calm but this around here right now this is not okay um my name is kathleen brown i ask that you do not pass policy five seven on the agenda and a lot of people may not realize um what five seven means this doesn’t mean that we’re being homophobic here um you guys are taking parents out of the decision-making for their own kids and teaching them to lie that’s just not cool um i want to remind the board that just because the virginia department of education past model policies does not mean that you need to pass them the language for the policy written by the school board attorney indicates that the board is required to adopt it um this is incredibly misleading um i double checked the virginia code and it utilizes the word shall and not must therefore is not required and the united states supreme court ruled in 1995 in gutierrez d martinez versus lamagno that xiao means may or optional um by the way cami the code is wrong on your policy so i’m going to go ahead and leave that with you i printed it so i have a copy today we’re not devoting voting on anti-discrimination policies you’re voting on anti-parent policies by allowing children to make these decisions that are not consistent with the wishes of the parents without discussion or public input parents are also not permitted access to their kids during the school day it appears the board is attempting to divide parents from their kids this is not a very good legacy for you miss rye at the policy review committee camie linetti stated the board votes on policies and superintendent spence makes the regulations i would suggest that you guys have given aaron spence too much power if you don’t know what you’re voting on because you’re only voting on the policy and he’s writing the regulation you should not be teaching our kids to lie behind their parents backs i’ve been an athlete for 25 years 11 years of which i was competitive and i have coached for a living for eight i would consider myself an expert in athletics in the field i recognize that the policy in front of us does not give details for competitive sports at this time but it is important to remember that athletes will seek to improve over time that means they will always become competitive if they continue there are significant physiological differences between biological males and females that gives males an inherent natural advantage in most if not all sports male athletes have much greater muscle mass and will easily surpass girls in strength males during post per and post puberty accelerate and become more powerful whereas females body shape will change making it difficult to adapt there are however some differences between the body and how it changes in certain females of different ethnic backgrounds as such eating disorders is a very very prevalent disorder amongst athletes so they can remain competitive allowing individuals to join the team with which they identify only stands to exacerbate an already difficult and dangerous challenge facing athletes if girls and boys were the same they would already be competing against each other 100 of the time the board majority seems to have a history of not allowing parents the right to make decisions for their own kids we’ve seen that recently with masking and now we’re seeing it with this policy not only has the board put themselves in a position where parental choice is being 30 seconds but they’re also playing doctor and therapist with zero credentials to do so first amendments are certainly under attack by the board majority you are intentionally attempting to lessen the ability for those that disagree with you to come publicly address you using covade as a free speech shield the board has become more the board has to be more concerned about a foia request than you do from kovid so stop using kovitt to attempt to muffle free speech and parental choice again i’m going to encourage you to discontinue parenting our kids thank you our next speaker is tim kessner where do i leave this and then christopher hollinger and then andy mann thank you welcome thank you ladies and gentlemen of the board my name is tim keister i’ve been resident in virginia beach since 2015 and work here as a software and hardware engineer though i have no children of my own many teachers took personal interest in my life and greatly helped me in my career and i want to pay it forward to the next generation through my student ministry at church i’ve had the opportunity and privilege to mentor seniors in my career field for their capstone project at ocean lakes math science academy and was honored to be invited to attend their graduation ceremonies last year this evening i’ve come to speak in opposition to the changes on policy five seven while i prefer to work with the students directly this policy negatively affects every student in virginia beach and i’m compelled to speak against it one of my first interactions with a student was attending their chorus concert at corporate landing towards the end a group of boys sang a moving rendition of in flanders fields i spoke with the teacher afterwards and she stressed how difficult it was for gathering boys at that age to sing in front of an audience and how proud she was of them but reading through this policy i found the boys chorus something that’s particularly fragile was specifically targeted the foundation of this policy is the idea that the best way to help a student wrestling with gender identity is to affirm their chosen identity the policy asserts if you declare yourself to be a girl then you’re a girl your teachers fellow students and transcripts will call you a girl you can use the girls bathrooms you can stay in the girls room overnight you can even sing in the girls choir but you can’t compete with the girls athletics here lies my opposition to this policy to a student struggling with gender dysphoria this policy is a slap in the face you’re equal in every way but one if you’re willing to destroy delicate things like the boys choir for the sake of transgender students then why are sports exempted if affirmation is so desperately needed this policy is a half measure don’t give me an excuse that other organizations have jurisdiction over sports god has jurisdiction over gender male and female he created them you’ll oppose god to his face but tremble and fear before the almighty virginia scholastic growing association it’s cowardice look you have easy leverage right here if an organization the school associates with violets the policy on discrimination and harassment then we’ll terminate our relationship and revoke access to facilities now your policy has teeth but here’s the ultimate slap in the face to the transgender student we see someone who’s suffering from an existential crisis we promise to help them create an identity and we leave them empty-handed we promise not to erase their identity as we actively tear down everything that allows boys and girls to find identity in their gender sports chorus the locker room and even the words male and female at one time the lobotomy was considered a cutting-edge treatment for schizophrenia and the doctor who invented it was awarded the nobel prize but it was an abusive barbaric treatment it took a person who is battling with their mind and solves the problem by destroying them and their mind leaving them with nothing this treatment was not to ease the suffering of the patient it was to ease the suffering of society like schizophrenia gender dysphoria is an extremely difficult mental illness to deal with i believe that in the next day decade many of the policies treatments and surgical procedures for gender dysphoria will be viewed like lobotomies the form of mental and physical abuse that robs people of their humanity a treatment we selfishly 30 seconds justify is compassionate because it’s easier to play along than confront the source of the dysphoria and lead them to find an identity in something more substantial than a pronoun if affirmation is the cure then this policy is a half-measure it promises equality and fails to deliver either commit to this abusive idea fully or abandon it there’s no middle ground but know this history does not look well on people who try to play god attempt to set your own peril our next speaker is christopher hollinger and andy band then sandra fraser welcome good evening madam chairman as a professional appellate attorney i would like to say thank you for bringing the timer and you can dispense with the 30-second note i get paid to watch timers and talk at the same time so thanks you made my life easier um hey welcome to the hard messy work of making policy on sensitive issues and trying to breathe through a mask sorry we are at the crossroads the rubber meeting the road of noble ideas like anti-discrimination tolerance and inclusion running headlong into parental rights religious liberty freedom of expression freedom of association this is not an easy thing to deal with i would submit to you that if any of you sitting at the dice and around the room here think it is easy just because equality and equity is so important you are abandoning your responsibilities to our children and to us as citizens you’re setting policy in some of the most intimate and sensitive areas of human development areas that have been widely recognized in society as the sole province of parents and you are interposing yourselves between parents and children on those issues i would submit to you that that is unacceptable you have an anti-bullying policy in place that prevents anyone from being treated badly it is a noble shield which should remain to prevent any student from treating any other student in an unacceptable way in a mean way but it should not be converted into a sword to be used to impose values and ideas about human sexuality on people who have been raised to think about those things differently than you do i’d like to ask if you are open to change enough as you say in your core values to acknowledge that you might be wrong to brush aside the concerns fears and values of a 12 year old girl whose parents have taught her that it’s inappropriate for her to change her clothes in the same room as a boy i’d like to ask you if you value differences enough to recognize that perhaps it’s wrong to inject yourselves and your ideas about human sexuality into your entire curriculum in the way that you’re doing it because this is not just treat everybody nicely this is not just preventing bad behavior this policy will force people to act to speak to take action in ways that are contrary to their conscience that is something that this country has never done on a wholesale basis this country has taken pride throughout its history of honoring rights of conscious and conscientious objection of not compelling people to act in ways that violate their conscience and whether you are forcing a child to change their clothes or live in a hotel room in a with a member of the opposite biological sex in a way that their parents have taught them is inappropriate or you’re forcing a teacher or other student to simply affirm something that they believe to be biologically incorrect in the name of inclusion you’re still compelling action that is contrary to their conscience again i would submit to you that that is unacceptable i’m going to close with just one quick reminder um again as an attorney i reviewed the code sections that were in you know that are the subject of this situation the 22.1 that the the state put in place i want to remind you all that just because something is legal just because something is prescribed by the law just because the people up in richmond passed 30 seconds and said that it’s required that doesn’t make it morally or ethically correct and frankly policymakers and residents of this commonwealth ought to be more aware of that than a lot of other people in this country please be mindful of that as you consider this consider having the courage to push back to richmond and say no your law is incorrect it is immoral and we will not follow it thank you our next speaker is andy bann then sandra fraser then robin blanchard welcome thank you madam chair members great to see you all again so can i be a girl for a day let me just go to the women’s locker room and be there for a day and as a kid experiment no i think there’s a period of time that i have to consistently express that identity so you will and i agree that what the process should be during that period of time and why don’t we just extend that to the rest of the time you are already agreeing that it’s okay for a kid who has this idea of gender identity to be in a position that is unchanged from what it was yesterday or now why don’t we just continue that process there’s a lot of heat i don’t i’m sure you can feel it and i think that’s as a result of a trust issue so you write that if the parent and the student disagree the student and the parent legal guardian will work with the school administrators to determine how to address the student’s needs who are you who my child is required to attend school who are you to say i’m going to inject myself into that relationship what gave you that role please talk about that in the discussion because we’d like to know and you continue with the safety and welfare as well as the students access to education educational services and opportunities should serve as the primary focus so i assume we’re not talking about child abuse here because that would be a reportable crime and i don’t think anyone would disagree that if a parent is harming a child to the definition of child abuse that they should be charged with child abuse so apart from child abuse how does a parent jeopardize the safety and welfare of their children or child by disagreeing with the child’s view of his own identity or her own identity how does that jeopardize safety and welfare if that’s the focus it must or if it doesn’t then you’re out leave the relationship alone but you continue so i ask how does a parent who disagrees with his child’s view of identity jeopardizes students access to educational services and opportunities with no child abuse here we’re agreed how does that happen then define that tell us because i don’t see it we’re not co-parents 30 seconds thank you i have a responsibility to my children and thank you very much i’ll live up to that or i’ll get arrested thank you our next speaker is sandra ann frazier then robin blanchard then john blanchard welcome what thank you first of all superintendent spence and school board members thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak on this issue of transgender policy allowing biological boys we all know what that is and biological girls we also know what that is to go into their locker rooms and to their bathrooms and vice versa excuse me ma’am is it possible to raise your mask to cover your nose as well sure thank you you know you want me to cover my eyes too like come on there’s nobody around me but whatever okay i can’t even believe we’re having actually the mass does not stay up very well so i can’t even believe we have to have this discussion this is america and we take care of each other and our children this is an abomination your policy states put students first okay which students at a time when young men and women are at a point in their impressionable lives at a time when their emotions and physical bodies are in transition you want to strip away their privacy and their trust by the people who are supposed to be looking out for them their parents yes their parents are mad but they look to their teachers and then they look to you i don’t know how you people sleep at night seek growth what kind of growth are you talking about our young people are not here as part of some social experiment we are falling behind in academics we should be focusing strictly on math sciences real science not some made-up social experiment american history the good and the bad not critical race theory that is not it as well as world history and the world around us and english literature not this experimental garbage it’s that’s not even education be open to change sounds good doesn’t it let’s be open to change okay in some instances change is good but not the total destruction of young people’s minds to mold into what you think is change take notice you vote this in and there will be a change of the school board and the superintendent do great work together lots of great works to be done but messing with our young people and teaching them they can change their sexual identity depending on how they feel when they wake up in the morning that is not a good work it is a perversion value differences if those differences mean devaluing who young men and women are that is hypocrisy not value transgender is a farce perpetuated by many different avenues lastly i want to know who bought you off to suggest that this is acceptable and a good thing for our kids you are willing to sell out our young people at what price if you follow through and approve this expect to reap the consequences every student male or female who is accosted shamed has their picture taken and posted on social media falls on each one of you that votes for this expect the consequences of your vote as more parents opt to home school and you lose funding 30 seconds expect a recall and a replacement of all who vote to allow this our next speaker is robin blanchard then john blanchard speaker 21 has not checked in and then will be paula chang welcome thank you my name is robin blanchard i am a resident of virginia beach i’m also a mother a business owner and i’m also a survivor of sexual assault when i was 15 years old because of a policy very much like this one where i got trapped in a room with somebody for a sports event couldn’t get out of the room and ended up being assaulted as i read through this policy i was horrified that we were setting up other girls to be assaulted like i was when you see in here that there are no protections you’re not giving any protections to girls you’re taking away their protections i looked at it and i thought we’re trying to protect transgenders but yet we are eroding the protections of our females our athletes our students i have two daughters i have spent my entire parenthood trying to protect them from what i went through this is no protection for the girls in our schools none i looked in here i tried to see where you you put transgenders can use whatever bathrooms what about transgender teachers do they get to go in the bathrooms too what if on a school trip johnny who now feels that he’s mary decides in the middle of the night when he’s spending the night in the girls room that he is now johnny again what happens then how are we are protecting our females so i heard what everybody said i want to offer you a solution everybody else comes with opinions but i’m going to give you a solution so what if at the beginning of the school year when kids go and they get their physicals they also get a blood test and we find out are they xx are they xy let’s take boys off the bathroom doors in the locker room doors girls off the locker room doors and off the bathroom doors put up xx put up x y whatever chromosome you fit into that’s the sport you play that’s the bathroom that you go in that’s the locker room you go in that way we’re not putting any sort of pronoun on anybody we don’t have to call them this that or the other they can do what they want to do and dress how they want to do and be who they want to be but it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others who are there i just want to say as a mother this makes me terrified for my daughters terrified that they will experience what i experienced thank you our next speaker is john blanchard then paul the chang then sonia smith welcome thank you if you’re wondering if robin blanchard and john blanchard are related that was my wife so yes uh ladies and gentlemen um greetings to all of the members of the school board and uh your jobs are so important and significant in uh shaping the contours of culture and the ultimate trajectory of value systems uh in future generations for our great city my name again is john blanchard i’m a product of green run high school and i’m currently resident in the city of virginia beach a business owner and a pastor of a non-denominational church i’m a phd candidate at the university of aberdeen in scotland and most importantly i’m a father to my precious gifts from god my two daughters i’m here this evening to oppose the adaptation of certain policies related to the treatment of transgender students i am not transphobic or homophobic but i live with the conviction and belief in imago dei which is latin that means every human bears the image of god and therefore deserves mutual respect and honor firstly let me state that uh if any policy of this school board commonwealth or even of the nation puts into jeopardy the safety both physical and emotional of our children and their development then it must be utterly rejected and removed from every agenda of education everywhere it doesn’t matter what has already been decided uh in a room somewhere else the path of least political resistance will not yield the outcome of impunity especially when the stakes are so high and the consequences are so imminent the call of our times and the weight of this decision demands that a true leader or true leaders will stand up for the truth for the common good and yes for some old-fashioned morality in education secondly to be both plain and specific if my precious little girl comes home with the experience of being exposed in a bathroom or locker room to a male child which is an x and a y chromosome as we heard a moment ago and sees his private parts or is taken on a field trip in which a boy climbs into bed with her or she is touched inappropriately or harmed in any way as a result of this irresponsible illogical and really i believe ludicrous policy proposal then it won’t matter if the boy claims to be fluid or claims to be the opposite gender or claims to be bisexual there’s going to be a serious problem and you will be hearing from many dads and moms who will demand justice and take seriously the god ordained mandate to defend our kids this is not just my problem but it will become everyone’s problem it will become your problem especially those of you who are now entrusted with the sacred trust and responsibility to protect not just educate but to protect all of our children from harm we’re counting on you and depending on you to do the right thing for our kids and our community third and finally as i prepare to close there should be a concern also for those all too commonly overlooked areas and issues of liability and the rights of the rest of the kids what undue burdens will this policy place on them and their freedoms we can look at this philosophically politically scientifically religiously or logically in any way you want to cut it there’s a policy proposal thank you this policy proposal may be the most irresponsible foolish nonsense we have ever considered in the post-modern era especially when there’s no true risk assessment they can confidently assure the safety of our kids and the protection of our schools and you may be willing for whatever reason to take that risk with our children’s safety but i’m not and most moms and dads are not either so as a pastor i’m praying for you to make the right decision that will uphold morality and righteousness for our great city in the name of the lord jesus christ and ultimately our next speaker is paul the chang then sonja smith then teresa stanley thank you very much appreciate your time and consideration welcome thank you i say my daughter sends her regards so um i am here to speak and i’m just going to comment as i’m here that there are many people sweltering outside in the heat while um we are while you are having many many seats and rows empty here and that’s something that should be noted policy five seven is objectionable for multiple reasons and the school board and dr spencer trying to hide it from you and oh nice to see him again as well the doc dr spence designed in the school board approved a recipe for chaos one multiple sexes in bathrooms locker rooms and contact sports at a time in developments when hormones are raging two no parents or volunteers allowed in a school as a check to you all at any time office only by appointment as a parent or actually now grandparent i say parents demand your rights and thirdly and very seriously the school board and minister school administrators police complaints of sexual assaults they decide what is turned over to the authorities if they want to hide the chaos in danger of the policies it is a process that is in place now i’m going to say this i am very very close to someone who’s a parent of a transgender teenager a wonderful gentle young person and i know the loving acceptance and the emotions that these families take on as they take the journey with their children and i know how much they pro they value their privacy and they want to know as they navigate their where they’re going so what i say now is not to people who support transgender rights not for any of those people because i actually really think we have bully policies in effect that are just fine i’m saying this to the leadership to the people who designed these policies i find the disingenuous use of transgender and lbgtq students and their families as cannon fodder in a political war aimed at parental and religious rights including the rights of lgbtq parents and i find it unconscionable for the school board and spence to deceptively create policy they say is designed to support people while writing poorly thought out regulations which help nobody and endanger many it will obviously lead to turmoil thrusting these gentle children already in turmoil themselves and trying to transition into the limelight in a painful way while at the same time you all will claim those of us who have legitimate concerns are just homophobic that attitude is dangerous and it’s wrong we are all being set up transgender parents i ask you do you think this leadership really cares about your child let’s see who is the final arbiter of a child’s use of a gender name in schools under this policy the school administration now i’ll move on the school board is allowing dr spence control of a policy that they themselves have the responsibility to set in a manner that they’re doing it than the same method that they replicated the equity policy behind closed doors with policy 57 the school board turns over all authority regarding this policy to dr spence who unchecked can check create regulations these regulations never need approval again this is devious my other point is that five seven is being handled improperly but i understand you already know that in regards to the fact that i was at the bylaw i was at the policy review committee you brought it out out of a committee without all the regulations present but you also had the gun you also had the gun um policy in there and i noticed that after it leaves policy review committee is changed the regulations are there the gun policy is not there so i just basically have to say that for example the policy review committee voted to send this out and then they changed it so why was that political heat that’s pretty much it the remainder of my time i’ll say that i think it’s appalling the way you treated the mask um rules this time to keep people out here which means that’s it our next speaker is sonya smith then teresa stanley then daphne stag welcome thank you good evening members of this good evening members of the school board teachers and parents tonight i’ll be speaking on policies 5-7 and 5-4-4 i’d like to open by saying that my stance has nothing to do with the people who are transgender and everything to do with the conduct of the school board and the continued effort to violate our rights as citizens and parents to the members of our virginia beach community we’ve been at the mercy of the school board for far too long whether it’s extracurricular activities person classes mass or vaccines their objective is clear to challenge our parental rights the ultimate form of power and control it’s time for parents to stand we must come together and say no more no more do we willingly consent to the exposure and potential harm that may result from implementing policies like this for example regulation 5 on regulation 5-4.2 under use of facilities states access to facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to a student’s gender identity shall be available to all students the same is stated later in the proposal for overnight field trips wow parents this is over when we stand and say you no longer have the right to influence my child i’m not here to change the minds of most of our school board because it’s clear they stopped listening to us parents long ago instead i’m here today to caution parents this school board will stop at nothing to get their way and make no mistake they’re coming for your children moral high ground was abandoned long ago case in point these agenda items i find it odd that the vital comp that these vital components of their beloved social emotional learning were quietly being pushed while parent keeping parents in the dark just prior to the start of the school year this is a huge red flag it’s our job as parents not your school board to guide and protect our children are we as parents just supposed to allow strangers to educate and guide our children about gender and sexual feelings when i was growing up we called someone who wanted to do that a child molester now all of a sudden we’re just supposed to accept it because it’s a social norm absolutely not now what consenting adults choose to do in their personal life is none of my business but we aren’t talking about adults here we’re talking about children and this school board should be ashamed of themselves their goal is to mold and shape the minds of our children when it comes to sexuality now that we know of this transgender agenda i also find it alarming parents are simultaneously being notified of the restrictions they will have throughout the majority of each day to their own child due to covet restrictions if there’s nothing to hide in the spirit of transparency i propose a live stream to every classroom where parents can pop in randomly you know similar to the virtual learning environment you willingly provided last year for students parents this comes down to a choice you must make do you willingly and openly consent to the potential grooming of your child i care about this community and can’t bear to see adult discussions and adult topics forced upon children our children are being weaponized for political gain i encourage everyone to think logically for a moment if you teach a child to identify their sexual organs and then support exploration of gender concepts what’s the next logical step i’m just posing a question here and encourage all parents to reflect deeply on this but equipped with what is learned through family life and now potential implementation of these policies one naturally begins to wonder are children being groomed to give sexual consent sooner think about it for a moment 30 seconds not only is the school system providing the resources and knowledge but through these policies they are encouraging exploration of sexual concepts which parents are given little to no say let me be clear once you expose someone to that to this what you’re proposing there is no turning it off these children will be influenced and changed for the rest of their life but i’m sure you guys already knew this right as the people listening may believe this is extreme i assure you after witnessing first time thank you our next speaker is teresa stanley then daphne stag then francis rogers welcome good evening i really appreciate the school board my name is teresa stanley i’m a proud bayside high school graduate a long time resident of virginia beach a mother and a grandmother of children attending the virginia beach public school system and i’m a member of the human rights commission though i’m speaking to you as an individual citizen tonight i support the virginia beach school board in its effort to protect human rights for all students in virginia beach schools through adoption of the virginia department of education model policies i’m grateful that we have a virginia department of education in providing the expertise the best practices to ensure that all students are provided with a respectful accommodating and safe learning environment in schools in virginia i also want to tell you this evening that i am very very appreciative of this school board’s leadership in regard to respecting for as long as history of the history i know which is more than 60 years human rights of more than 60 000 students in virginia beach public schools with a myriad of issues that have been coming before you during these challenging times again i am asking that you vote expediently to support the passage of policy 57 as amended so that the division is in compliance with the code of virginia 2 2 23 2.
This policy gives consistent and wise guidance to support staff parents and students in our city in providing an optimal optimal learning environment for all thank you for your service and for the opportunity to address you this evening i’m very appreciative thanks our next speaker is daphne stag then frances rogers then virginia wasserburger welcome good evening i’m speaking on agenda item uh five seven um i’m here to voice my concern about allowing the superintendent spence and his designees to have authority over the regulations on transgender policy in violation of your own bylaws i am concerned that you don’t know what the state regulations are 22.1-23-3 states the b-o-e is responsible to create regulations available for school districts to adopt not that they must be not that you must adopt these policies there are eight regulations they’re mostly in place right now um they are all based on non-discrimination laws for all students you just need to decide if boys can wear dresses to school and if boys can use the girls bathrooms and girls the boys bathroom there’s no reason to adopt the suggested state regulations i am making references that are relative to this agenda item my concern is that spence lied when he told you that equity is not based on crt it is the the uh va equity ed videos literally said equity is based on critical race theory the theory that all white people are white supremacists okay ma’am an excuse maybe can we get back on you’re off topic right now i am making references that are relative to this agenda item well i’ve been hearing about equity and crt which are not on the agenda so please um you voted for that and now the taxpayers are responsible for funding an equity department an entire racist department based on the color of our skin ma’am you i’m gonna have to call you out of order if you don’t get back on topic you’re right right this is relative to this subject you are placing spence in a position where you placed him before and i am concerned you were all convinced that sel is not based on crt okay so i’m gonna have to ask for you to be um to leave the podium i’ve asked respectfully three times for you to get on topic you’ve been out of order this is on topic you blindly accepted the sel grant and now you’re going to blindly accept this policy because our next speaker is francis rogers then virginia wassenberg then jessica miley welcome my name is francis rogers i’m a retired navy master chief i’m here to talk about five seven but uh like everybody else but i want to add some context about character because i think it’s vital to uh later on in the uh my pitch 2020 was a test of our national character when the epidemic hit people were in shock slowed down the country economic downturn and uh we were isolated from one another most places were self-quarantined in regions and yet at the same time many people had to step up and take risk in order to keep communities running my son worked at food line he was a grocery store worker along with the other guys they worked all the way through the pandemic they never took a break they sucked it up every day went to work stock shelves and fed hundreds of families at the same time so they showed character uh emts firefighters police working up close and personal with the community they showed character that’s what real character is all about setting aside your concerns for others needs so where were the teachers in all this where were they they were missing in action for eighteen months refusing refusing risk while drawing full pay did they do zoom classes yeah could they have done better yes and now though now those were coming into the new school year yet those same teachers and you the school board are clamoring to do what clamoring to teach or instruct our kids how to better teach respect each other’s opinions and treat each other with dignity set aside your own opinions for others opinions in other words show character so through cultural awareness training seminars and new rules like the non-discrimination policy which is the fence off bad behavior but you the school board you want to empower the superintendent to write non-harassment policies as well as enforce breaches of policy so he’s being invested with authorities which actually exceeds social services moreover the superintendent is crafting what can be considered new civil rights laws making transgender students a protected class with equality perks equity perks as well policy breaches will carry force a law with threat of arrest and fine which is occurring in few school districts around the country already as well as the mantle which though newswort the media would throw on any transgression would be a hate crime meaning what’s been handled in the past for decades by adults in classrooms a social discourse is now being elevated to the superintendent as potential civil rights violations all to make a social justice statement not educate and again all this caring brought about by those with the least regard for our children’s for the last 18 months or the parents and by reference you just passed a policy denying parents access to school property except by appointment and only to the principal’s office flags going up therefore for all these reasons i ask you to reject policy five seven return to teachers taking charge of classrooms to enforce civility and good manners at their level like they’ve been doing for years but as well i urge you regain the trust of parents right now there’s a wide gulf and you need to make a compact that compact’s been sought by america for 30 seconds between parents and schools to more to ensure more effective education but i want to add one thing i was listening to talks about the differences in weight classes and transgenders involved in sports i talked with the coach of the women’s olympic wrestling team good guy it was great how well the girls are doing they’re they’re crushing it but when i asked them i said how would they do against men he goes ah not so good he says they might be able to be might be able to be a division three wrestler that is trying in the light weight classes so that’s how big and that is time our next speaker is virginia wassenberg then jessica miley the mathias paul telcamp welcome good evening um so the policy that i’m going to speak on tonight is policy 5-7 non-discrimination and non-harassment of students it’s a policy that i consider important the recommendation and the agenda is to amend the language of policy 5-7 the recommended amendment lacks structural content for the non-discrimination and non-harassment of transgender students in vbcps because it states the superintendent or designee is directed to develop regulations practices and trainings and i learned here this afternoon that the designee that has presented this to you is miss linetti the amendment relinquishes the duly elected duty of the board to create rights and responsibilities for the conduct of this school divisions business it gives duty to an unelected quote superintendent or designee it encourages this board to willfully refuse to perform the duties it has been elected to fulfill for our students and schools our students deserve to have their elected board represent their voice in creating policies that protect them the board does not get to vote on regulations practices and trainings that the superintendent or designee develops or that that person decides to amend in a future date and therefore this amendment of the policy cancels the voice of students you see the buck stops with you it stops with you the board and public service sometimes it can be difficult and sometimes it can seem void of a measurable investment but the legacy that is imprinted from the creation of policy is invaluable to the great experiment of this united republic and we need you the board to roll up your sleeves to dig in as a collective and effective capable body of incredibly strong women that god created and god ordained to be a body work in unity please and create structural policy for our students that protects them in every manner of their lives that is under your jurisdiction as the board your jurisdiction and while i’ll acknowledge that there are political differences between some of you and myself i want to make it very clear here tonight that i hold the utmost respect and humility for your service to our community so i’m going to close and reminding you in that respect and humility that you were elected because you 30 seconds capable you’re capable you’re capable you’re capable of doing this on your own so please amend your approach to policy five seven and do it on your own thank you our next our next speaker is jessica miley the matthias paul tell camp and speaker number 30 has not checked in welcome welcome thank you thank you very much for having me and thank you for allowing um the parents to have a voice this evening we really are very grateful and appreciative of the time i’m a mom to two kids both at virginia beach public schools i’ve been a resident of virginia beach for 10 years now i had the really unique opportunity of choosing anywhere in the country to move i worked remotely before remote work was was a common thing and my husband and i chose to move to virginia beach because of this school district and because of your core values and we want our children to have those same core values we talk about putting students first growth and safety the core value of virginia beach public schools talk about valuing differences that’s specifically stated inclusion inclusive environment and respect for all students that includes transgender students and those of the lgbtq community in addition to being a mom of two really fun cool very busy kids i am also work at a pediatric hospital i’m seeing first hand the impact the wave of the mental health pandemic that is coming our way i’m going to share with you a few statistics that i’d like you to keep in mind when you vote this evening 15 of students identify as gay 40 percent of lgbtq youth contemplate suicide 40 percent contemplate suicide 84 of our transgender youth feel unsafe 84 that is not okay as a mom and i’m sure all of you as public servants are fearful of those numbers for our kids and our community we all know that schools can be a hostile environment unfortunately and um we know that kids won’t report incidents if they’re not being supported by you the leaders by the principals by the teachers by their peers i couldn’t help but notice when i walked in this evening the very large no bullying sign but i must tell you the atmosphere in the parking lot if that is indicative of what my daughter will face i am fearful for her i was fearful for myself and the very kind security guards have helped me this evening i’m going to quote one of your core values i would like you to keep in mind when you make a vote this evening we ask our quote we ask ourselves what am i going to do to invite recognize and esteem the perspectives of those around me i beg you to support implementing the vdoe model policy please support your core values that you stand upon this isn’t about a bathroom this isn’t about a locker room 30 seconds thank you this is about supporting the most vulnerable kids the 84 percent of them who already feel unsafe the 40 percent 40 percent who feel have already thought about committing suicide so i’m going to close with asking you all to remember the statistics this evening and not just people’s opinion about transgender homophobia i very much appreciate being here this evening i wish you all the best of luck you have a hard road ahead with all that is time thank you very much our next speaker will be matthias paul telcamp speaker 30 and 31 have not checked in and that will be william duke welcome thank you chairwoman ride dr spence and board members my name is matthias paul telcamp i want to thank you for finally bringing the policy 5-7 for non-discrimination non-harassment of students up to date following the virginia state codes 2.
2 through 3 900 and 22.1 through 23 23.3 it is time that all students felt safe within the building of education the policy as outlined by the vdoe offers needed dignity and respect to vulnerable population of students and after seeing what is happening at our school board meetings as well as across the country i worry about the lgbtq youth within our schools my three girls are friends with multiple kids that will be impacted by this policy i have never had i have had these kids over to my house and met with their parents and i know those that this is important to we should be ensuring a safe learning environment for all students in our schools to me those that are here challenging this are just bigots that wish to keep their heads in the ground and not see the truth all around them science is rejected and they don’t want to re acknowledge reality they fail to acknowledge that the super supreme because supreme court super conservative supreme court sided with the lgbtq community on multiple occasions their actions of coming in and being obnoxious and disrupting meetings show that you that they are not here to have a dialogue and i ask that you you vote unanimously in support of this policy although i’m sure there are a few of them that will receive that will reveal themselves to be prejudiced against any equality and equity within the schools critics want to spend a narrative that this is putting our kids in harm’s way and they would have our kids sexually assaulted and humiliated to check someone’s gender they can’t prove their case but as with the civil rights movements of the past we must do the right thing going forward we know that statistics prove that the lgbt community is more prone to violence against them than from them we must offer protections to these students we must show those critics that no amount of whining crying and theatrics will stop you from doing what is right and just the fact that we have a no bullying sign out on the front of this building and our schools and then we allow for all that to come in here and people feel bullied sitting out waiting to speak to come in here and support is is appalling and it should not be happening and the fact that our school board members are please get back on topic sir 30 seconds thank you our next speaker is william duke hello excuse me welcome thank you some of you know me most of you don’t so by way of introduct introduction for myself let me just tell you my name is dr william l duke and i spent 20 years in undergraduate and graduate student education some of them also involving gifted high school students and in all that time there were a lot of difficulties that some students and faculty had many of them were sexual in nature there was a 14 year old girl who found herself pregnant and didn’t know what to do about it and she was talking to her teachers about it before she talked to her parents uh many other uh difficulties along the way i don’t need to tell you’re a bunch of educators i don’t need to tell you that it’s it’s difficult being in education with young people who need guidance i can’t tell you that i’ve read through all of these rules and regulations i i will tell you i i’ve skimmed them i will tell you though that it is uh unfortunate that we have to have so many rules and regulations and uh they seem to replace a generosity of spirit and civil discourse in many cases so i have only one recommendation to make and having not completely read but have only skimmed through what is a lengthy bunch of transgender policy regulations i would like you to consider including a regulation for a sort of a good samaritan good faith effort by any employee any employee from custodian to principal in a school who might intervene who might run into a bathroom because that person perceives an imminent threat to a student it could be an lgbtq or a trans sexual or a straight student anyone in the olden days we used to intercede with children out of concern and now we have a lot of regulations to follow and i just don’t think it would be wise to put regulations in the way of a good faith effort even if it’s incorrect proves to be incorrect a good faith effort to save someone from harm and i’m done thank you very much i’ll take questions thank you madam chair that was our last in person speaker we can move on to our online speakers yes ma’am our first online speaker is holly edwards please unmute welcome can you hear me we can maybe just speak up a little bit more in this edwards is that better much better thank you good evening chair rai vice chair malmek dr spence and members of the school board i have to say it’s clear listening to the speakers so far tonight that there are a whole lot of people who have never had a meaningful relationship with a trans or a non-binary person in their life there’s also a whole lot of folks that don’t understand that understand the separation of church and state to any members of the lgbtq community watching or listening this meeting please know that you’re loved and i see you i’m addressing you this to you this evening as a parent of a rising third grader in virginia beach schools and to let you know that i unequivocally support virginia beach schools adopting the model policies to support non-binary and trans children in our schools my grandmother was born in 1918.
Her rhythm name was birth of florence even in the 20s my grandma thought that bertha wasn’t a cool name my brother he has gone by his middle name his entire life my brother-in-law i didn’t even know his legal first name for the first few years that my husband and i dated every year on the first day of school or the first day on the job my grandmother my brother and my brother-in-law were announced by their legal first name they quickly asked their teachers and colleagues to call them by their preferred name and every single time no questions asked their re their request was respected using a child’s preferred name and preferred pronouns has shown to increase confidence decrease depression and allow students to focus on their education rather than how they may be addressed in schools this is a simple matter of respecting our students as for bathrooms this matter has already been settled by the supreme court when they allowed gavin grimm’s victory in court to be upheld this shouldn’t even be up for debate all of us have been in the bathroom with someone who identifies as non-binary or transgender and we had no idea because it’s not our business labeling someone as a predator simply because of their gender identity is wrong many folks on this school board like to talk a lot about the mental health of students now is your opportunity to put those words into action in a recent study published by the national institute of health 58 percent of not of transgender non-binary youth reported being prevented or discouraged from using a bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity among those youth who have experienced bathroom discrimination 85 percent reported depressive mood and 60 seriously considered suicide furthermore other studies have shown that the majority of students are far less divided on this issue than the adults that are speaking tonight the majority of students under the age of 18 are not opposed to transgender and non-binary students using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity i’m disappointed that once again a minority members of this body went out of their way to keep the business of the school board moving forward by not allowing the board to vote on this important policy to protect students in virginia beach schools prior to the start of the school year i look forward to the virginia beach schools adopting this model these model policies from the virginia department of education which have already been adopted in norfolk portsmouth and many other localities across the commonwealth thank you speaker please unmute welcome first i would like to say that i do not oppose the lgbtq students or their parents i support that all citizens under the constitution have equal rights i do oppose the manner in which ms ryan ms melnick and superintendent spence have used the lgbtq students and their parents to destroy parental rights i oppose the deceptive manner miss ryan miss melnick have used to implement transgender policies and regulations at the last minute without public and parental inputs miss rye and miss melnick your transgender policy and regulations require many people of faith to suppress suspend their beliefs miss ryan miss melnick you do not respect our parental rights silence is a form of free speech so i will use the rest of my time in silence exercising my first amendment rights in the opposition to this school board’s transgender policy and regulations so oh so so 30 seconds so and that is time speaker number three and number four are not online we will go on to jeannie baker please unmute welcome hi this is judy baker first i’d like to say as an online speaker if you say anything to me and i’m speaking i can’t hear you for instance if you say 30 seconds or anything i can’t hear it on my end just sharing that thank you i’m here to comment on the policy of non-discrimination of students specifically the transgender policies that are being added to our public school system our state passed a law that a transgender policy must be in effect before school starts that’s in two weeks our school board plans on discussing brand new extreme policies never before in history and also voting in one evening i hope this is not rushed and pushed through just to put a check in the box this is a very serious topic by the way virginia beach schools has 14 protected groups i bet there are more protected groups than not realize that every person is already protected against physical harm name calling etcetera our anti-bullet bullying policy accomplishes a lot that is in these new rules i ask that anything that is already in the anti-bullying bullying rules or any other policies not be duplicated duplicated in another set of rules i also request that the entire school board be part of the planning and implementing reading the agenda item superintendent spence will be developing and implementing this one person should not have this much power we voted for school board members we did not vote for spence i believe this should be the school board member’s responsibility on the area of pronouns the agenda says that you will be deciding who will be determining the child’s pronoun regardless how you feel about this particular topic any mature reasonable person would not be giving other people the authority to make decisions for their family anyone who allows the government or anyone to make decisions for their children is being neglectful and downright abusive if you do want the school to determine what your child is called what happens when the school decides on a different issue of which you don’t agree this is also not fair to teachers teachers have a lot on their plate already for social engineering that they may or may not agree once again social issues falls under parental rights we should be supporting our teachers with tools for academic excellence what countries do you think of when you think about a government body making your decisions making decisions that should be parental decisions communist this is not about transit transgender this is about control control issues come up a lot lately with our school i’m going to go back to pronouns my next comment is about who makes decisions on pronouns remember the racial healing handbook being taught to teachers by the vice principal at lynnhaven middle it talks about adultism it means kids don’t have jurisdiction over their own bodies because of parental rules and other authority figures that not having that jurisdiction is a bad thing this is just a word for grooming i would be very careful with that having the child decide their pronoun is freeing them of adultism right plus most kids aren’t transgender they’ve just been told over and over confusing ideas well above their maturity levels thank you i did hear that things also please provide a larger meeting room so the public can participate in these meetings and that’s all i have thank you for your time appreciate our next speaker is tova gold please unmute welcome thank you good evening esteem board members and community members of virginia beach my name is topha gold and my pronouns are they them and caesar i’m here to express why it’s important to implement the vdoe model policy for the treatment of transgender and non-binary students per section 12 c1 of today’s agenda i appreciate those before me saying among an abomination and imbalance today about myself i’m muslim with a jewish background identify as non-binary and part of the lgbtq plus community i just finished my master’s degree in washington dc and volunteer with several lgbtq plus organization in the dmv area i’m also a proud product of vbcds having gone to school from pre-k until graduating from the first class of the global studies and world languages academy in 2009.
I knew i was queer when i was in elementary school but i ignored it i had a major crush and temporary to a similar gender expressed person again i ignored it even with my lgbtq plus friends around me i wasn’t yet ready to accept my own identity i didn’t fully come out until 2019.
i had a fantastic education but if i had support in school with advocacy policy and inclusive language it would have made me feel much more comfortable in embracing my even things early on and would have saved me from a great deal of stress and depression one major reason to implement this policy is the high rate of suicide among trans youth according to the trevor project national survey of the lgbtq plus youth 2021 52 of trans and non-binary youth considered suicide with 20 percent having attempted suicide as outlined in the bill on page 14 transgender youth with supportive families experience a 52 decrease in recent suicidal thoughts and 46 decrease in suicide attempts these aren’t numbers to ignore the blueprint to make bbcps a safer inclusive and more positive environment is right here in the model policy bill implementation of this policy will lead to an exponential decline in bullying an increase in student happiness and success in a positive holistic educational environment where students can focus on their study and relationship building they can have the skills they need as adults to navigate this world and spend less time trying to undo trauma and spread from trans and homophobia i especially appreciate that the bill includes dialogue sessions and trainings that address the concerns of parents students teachers and staff this can break down misconceptions while helping individuals to understand and fully support trans youth i am not here to debate religion but would like to share two important verses from the abrahamic teaching from the old testament in leviticus it says you shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people but you shall love your neighbor as yourself and in the quran it says we made you into tribes and families so that you may know one another and so build mutuality not so that you may take pride in your differences of race or social rank and breed anonymities one more thing to remember is an article one of the universal declaration of human rights all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights and from the convention on the rights of the child and the universal declaration of human rights explains that no person child or adult should suffer abuse discrimination exploitation marginalization or violence of any kind for any reason including on the basis of the real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in conclusion i support the vdoe model policies for the treatment of transgender and non-binary students i’m proud of the hampton roads area for many reasons and one of them is being a diverse area with lots of ingenuity and community it will be even better when we protect our trans and non-binary youth from harm and support their success in school and in life as a proud virginia beach in i thank you for allowing me to have my input and bid you all a good night thank you our next speaker is roger dadmoff please unmute welcome okay can you hear me loud and clear welcome sir all right thank you very much hi my name is roger daddymoff and i’ve had children and now grandchildren in the virginia beach public school system for over 20 years two of my daughters have been teachers someone in elementary school and one was a special education teacher and my wife a few years ago retired as a school nurse so i am familiar with the school system to some degree i’m speaking tonight referencing school board policy section 5-7 and regulation 5-7-1 and the detrimental effects i believe it will have on our children and actually more importantly the loss of parental patrol of their children’s lives there were a couple speakers that spoke about hate in the parking lot i wasn’t there the whole time but i was there for the first 20 or 30 minutes when there was a prayer said asking everybody to behave kindly to all and a prayer for the members of the school board i think that having a different opinion is not hate speech anyway to move on i don’t believe this is an anti-bullying document i predicted virtually everybody i’ve spoken to the parents who are out there oppose who oppose a transgender policy would steadfastly support the respect and dignity of every individual in and out of the school and want them to feel safe people speaking against the policy are being accused of tolerating bullying and that’s patently false our position is to prevent a non-elected official from making moral decisions that fly in the face of parents wishes emotional testimonies that spoke of suicide rates and depression were one-sided and they defy opposing statistics that say quite the other anecdotal stories are not what policies should be based on claims that the policy makes education more available available for transgender students are baseless the name calling we’ve been called bigots science deniers whining crying and theatrics are typical accusations by those who refuse to consider other opinions and the labels have come because anybody that opposes this this agenda are or not because they don’t agree so the name calling is actually coming from the other side i believe there’s been a disturbing trend of mainstreaming gender dysphoria in the country and regardless of anyone’s personal or moral view of that perspective the virginia beach school is positioned to be the mediator or controlling party in a parent’s decision whether or not their children can quote self-identify as a different gender against their parents wishes is a very dangerous step in letting the state unduly control how our children are raised i’m quoting paragraph five it says in the situation when parents or legal guardians of minor students under the age of 18 do not agree with the minor student’s request to adopt a new name and or pronoun the student and the parent or legal guardian will work with school administrators to determine how to address the student’s needs under the guides of guys of caring for the safety of our children in paragraph five you’re inserting a school administrator between a child and their parent i never imagined the public school as a matter of public policy would be making moral decisions for our children that are contrary to what parents want if the school administration is concerned with our children’s safety and learning environment then why did you propose under use of facilities access to female bathrooms and locker rooms for biological males additionally your policy for accommodations for overnight trips states students may choose the rooming bathing and changing facilities that align with the students gender identity i’m not accusing transgendered students of being you know some kind of attack monitors but i don’t want an 11 year old girl in a room with an 11 year old boy who identifies as a girl you even say for overnight field trips students should not be placed in single occupancy accommodations that are not required for other students those policies effectively force minor students to be exposed to sexual situations that are unacceptable regardless of your personal perspective on the morality of that opinion parents should be the only ones who decide what the child children are or aren’t exposed to um and then officials i recognize everyone sitting on the board thank you our next speaker is jing zhu please unmute good evening uh can you hear me welcome yes we can i’m speaking with great concern to propose policy 57 which is your wake response to the state’s model policies for treatment of transgender students as a parent of a middle school daughter i hope you see as i do that this proposal lacks any reasonable foresight and ignores basic common sense everyone agrees with the basic intention to prevent discrimination but despite what the grim case says these proposed policies actually create an unsafe environment in our schools that carelessly endangers all students the approach has proposed of giving students whether transgender or otherwise unfettered access to the restrooms locker rooms etc of their choice at any time lacks any common sense and creates a recklessly unsafe environment for all students the video is modern policy state school staff should not confront students about their gender identity upon entry into the restroom while the virginia beach regulation echoes all students are entitled to use dressrooms and locker rooms without harassment discrimination intimidation threat or fare these policies put my daughter in danger and create an environment of constant fair the one is one easily foreseeable result is that any male student could enter any female restroom or locker room at any time the staff has no right to prohibit or even question any male entering female restroom the staff has no ability to enforce a safe and private environment under these policies neither my daughter daughter nor i as her parents would have any assurance of her safety within the girls restroom or locker room if any male student possibly with ill intention decide to enter that girl’s dress room or locker room this policy clearly put students in danger respectful accommodation could be made for transgender students but these policies overreach that goal endanger all students and handicapped schools in providing a safe environment if this policy is passed as is and you cannot provide my daughter with safety or privacy i would be um requesting my daughter’s school to allow her to use a single user restroom and then she not be required to dress up for pe i encourage all other concerned parents to do the same i recognize you have been giving your marching orders from the state to adopt their short-sighted model policy but as newport news school board chair douglas brown has stated when the law violates the constitution then it’s a bad law in addition anyone that uses a little common sense to see the easily foreseeable consequences of this policy will see the dangers to our students that it poses it is possible to treat transgender students with safety and dignity without sacrificing safety and privacy for all i implore you to drown out the noise use common sense and decency and reject this policy in order to fulfill your duty to keep our students safe if you do go forward with this careless policy i ask what are you going to do to prevent this kind of scenarios from happening how are you going to protect young girls and provide them with privacy when boys figure out that they have free reign in girls bathrooms and locker rooms even right in front of teachers and staff thank you our next speaker is diana lynn howard please unmute welcome diana howard please unmute unmute i’m unmuted okay my name is diana howard and i’m the chair of the virginia beach tea party and we oppose this transgender policy children that display gender disparity are rare it afflicts one point 0.1 percent of the population most of these children naturally grow out of it the virginia department of education models for transgender students policy would reverse that by encouraging a lie allowing them to choose a gender identity saying their sex was assigned at birth sorry either you are either born a male or you are born a female to be born both with the genitalia of both is extremely rare how many of you when growing up did not like your body were you too skinny fat weak small short flat chested not masculine or feminine enough a tomboy imagine him being told that you were born in the wrong body there may be vulnerable children feeling isolated socially awkward having a difficult time fitting in and making friends they are now being celebrated and getting attention to become a transgender mental issues such as depression and anxiety are going unnoticed they are now encouraged to to pursue a transition to the agenda of their choice a decision they are not mature enough to make are you telling the parents confidentiality of information does not specifically say that they are excluding a parent but they are by saying they are adhering to all legal standards of confidentiality about a student gender identity legal name or sex assigned at birth that students will be allowed to use a name and gender pronoun that reflects their gender identity without substantially evidence their requests may be requested in writing and signed by the student or parent what is the punishment for students faculty and students that fail to use the so-called gender profound requested students records may be amended to reflect the student’s choice of gender identity how often is this allowed to occur participation in school activities and events whenever students provide gender-specific activities such as physical education classes students should be allowed to participate in a manic assistance with their gender identity page 16 use of facilities access to facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to a student’s gender identity shall be available to all students page 19 accommodation for overnight trips all students who participate in the extra curricular activities that involve overnight trips should be made aware of the rooming bathing and changing facilities students may choose the rooming bathing and changing facilities that align with their student gender identity adults who are are not students should not share rooming changing and bathing facilities with students maybe that should say shall not do we still require permission slips for field trips consent to take tylenol at school how is it that you allow students to change their names pronouns and bathroom choices at school without even telling parents in a recent supreme court judge the supreme court justice aaliyah argued in our society parents not the state have the priority and that is feel free to follow up via email on this howard we thank you our next speaker is suzanne sultosic please unmute hello good evening my name is suzanne saltesiak and i’m a parent in virginia beach schools and i am an ally i want to share that with you because many of the dynamics that have been discussed in speaking at board meetings many allies and families have shared with me their concerns about coming to speak that’s why i wanted to make sure to bring up that a group of allies hosted a virtual rally last night with speakers who shared their journeys and a video sharing platform for some who wanted to share their stories and thoughts about this protection policy with you as you know a link to that virtual rally in those videos was sent to you earlier today i fully support protecting all of our transgender students as written in the vdoe model policy i want to say that again just to emphasize as written i understand that this is typically done in virginia beach within regulations but unfortunately that’s the same thing i was told about recess previously and you all know how that went i am concerned that by doing this only in regulations having the policy that you’re implementing not even required that the regulations are to comply with the law and the model policy we will have that same issue again additionally the law charges that each school board shall adopt policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than the model policies in the policy put forth here today you don’t require the superintendent comply with that policy merely that they develop regulations that are related to compliance this leaves a lot up to individual decision and implementation if the language were adjusted to require compliance with this law in my humble opinion that would honor the law and the students we want to protect and i want to be clear this is not to speak against dr spence well i’ve disagreed with some things with him that’s true of just about anybody but i also believe that he’s a good superintendent and support him but what if heaven forbid he’s not the superintendent anymore do we have a guarantee that his successor will implement this as is needed school board policies are such that they’re intended to be on the purview of any individual for that reason please please please know that this is not something that can or should be sight based you saw in ms linetty’s discussion earlier all the biases that came forward at the school board meetings that gavin grimm had to listen to when he was 15 years old heck you’ve seen them here tonight this cannot be something that is implemented in a site-based manner additionally the regulations i’ve read have added some things that are more limits to the rights of our trans and non-binary students that were not in the model policy it left off the mandatory training it the model policy specifically includes discussing the pronouns of z here and hers and yet your regulations say that the pronouns accepted by the district are only she he and they it allows princess on the site principles on a site-based basis the ability to require a student to sign a request to be called by their preferred name or pronoun and it also adds more ways for schools administration to make their own determination about whether a situation was discriminatory rather than having it go to a higher place minimizing the experience of that student asking for help finally i wanted to say to all the members of our trends and non-binary community and their families that are hearing these comments please know that this is not all of our community you have many allies here with you tonight even if they may not be able to speak and tovah please know you are not an abomination we love you we welcome you and we stand with you and if hearing these comments has caused you any hurt and you need to reach out please know the trevor project has texting phone and chat ways to reach out on the website um and you just look at for the trevor lifeline thank you all very much for letting me speak tonight have a wonderful evening our next speaker is ken lubeck please unmute welcome hi thank you for allowing me to speak and um thank you school board for listening to everyone and i hope you have an open mind and i just wanted to reiterate what i emailed you about the newport news superintendent i think he was completely reasonable obviously he comes from um more of a church background a little more conservative but he cares about people um i don’t think he’s a bigot i think he has a lot of questions i think this is there’s a lot of open-ended questions that i have um i think you know chesapeake school boards a little more conservative they’re they decided it wasn’t a good idea as well as a bunch of other school boards and i don’t think it’s because they’re full of hateful bigots i don’t think that demonizing the other side’s a good idea um i just as a quick background i lived in the bay area for 14 years i left here to go there for 14 years and went to church in san francisco uh you know right in the heart of the city and um we had a lot of people that came to our church that struggled with a lot of things and you know we didn’t dictate anything we loved them and uh different things happened and um people made different decisions even as adults than they made when they were in their teens and twenties i worked and then fast forward i worked at uh the pines residential treatment center for adolescence and i was in the behavioral studies program when i worked there when i was going to um tcc odu and regent and those kids had their sexuality shattered because they all of them had been abused as children and some of the therapists i thought were leading them towards alternative lifestyles that’s what the lifestyle they were leading they were giving them books they were and i felt like wait a minute they’re shattered how do you know like let’s let’s just take a step back here directing them in a specific direction i mean that’s what you criticize conservatives of doing right and i i really think that there’s there’s a lot of dangers in taking your worldview and justifying it by saying the other side is just hateful and terrible that is that is just that’s not a good idea we’re not trying to split the community into different things i actually think if we focused on things like why are kids feeling suicidal who’s feeling suicidal let’s look into that and dive into it and make sure we can prevent it in every way we can that’s a little different than approaching it this way or a lot different we’ll find out um there might be a little more work involved but i really think that that what’s in the best interest of the kids um and just coming out with a policy i think it’s a band-aid um i think yes i think these kids are struggling they’re having uh suicidal thoughts um if they’re being bullied that’s obviously not okay um i also think there’s a whole societal shift i can see the difference between my 16 year old’s grade actually she told me today that they had the ninth grade orientation at bayside and she noticed they seemed they’re different there’s uh race and gender is becoming an obsession and canceling people and we really need to get back to appreciating each other supporting each other and we’re at school to learn things and to learn to read you know i think reading level matters if you want to succeed in life so um that’s that’s all i have to say right now i’m not here to uh attack anybody and i’m not here to hurt anybody and i want to support people that are having a hard time and protect people um you know but i have questions about this and you don’t have to just pass it through thank you our next speaker is connor eppley please unmute welcome thank you uh good evening i wanted to take a moment tonight to speak to express my support for the virginia department of education’s model policies for transgender students and the subsequent version that is being proposed tonight it is vital that our schools have policies in place that let our students know regardless of who they are that they are valued that they are protected and that our schools and staff will treat them with the respect they deserve our transgender students should be able to participate in a learning environment where learning and achieving their full potential is their primary focus worrying about if teachers and staff will refer to them by their preferred name and pronoun whether or not they will be able to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity and whether or not they will be treated with the most basic forms of respect should not have to be their focus the conversation that the school board is having tonight is long overdue and to be quite honest i’m a little disappointed that it took the school board being required to pass a policy for this issue to be discussed i will also say that i wish the vpcps version of these policies went a little further and that the vdoe’s model policies as written were the ones being considered tonight however the consequences of not putting these protections in place immediately are too great far too many lgbtq plus students and youth struggle with mental health issues and having a space where they feel safe valued and accepted is crucial again i ask that the school board move ahead with approving these policies it is a step in the right direction and will ensure that all students are welcome and feel safe in our schools thank you our next speaker is mary raines please unmute hello thank you my name is mary and i am a student at kansas and high school and the governor’s school for the arts i’ll be speaking on a diagon 13c i’ll start by saying thank you so much for the opportunity to speak today i would like to represent a unique perspective in this conversation and that is the point of view as a young christian it has been my perception that one source of the opposition to this policy is founded on christian beliefs and that perception has been reinforced by some of the opinions previously stated today i grew up in the church and the concepts of love acceptance and diversity were always viewed as christ-like as a member of the lgbt community myself i’ve struggled to find my place in the eyes of god in this journey i’ve realized that the gentiles the ill the poor and all the outcasts of the bible are so similar to the marginalized groups of the modern day the most beautiful example of this unconditional love is the parable of the lost sheep in chapter 18 of the book of matthew jesus says if a man owns a hundreds sheep and one of them wanders away will he not leave the 99 on the hills and go look for the one that wandered off and if he finds it truly i tell you he is happier about the one sheep than about the 99 that did not wander off in the same way your father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish it is clear that today this one sheep currently represents our trans and non-binary siblings according to the washington dc national center for transgender equality 40 of american transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt 92 percent of these individuals reported that having reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25 the mission statement of our school district is that in partnership with the entire community we will empower every student to become a lifelong learner who is a responsible productive and engaged citizen within the global community i also invite you to consider that both scientifically and scripturally god’s creation is so much greater than a simple binary in human souls in the very first chapter of genesis god created mankind in his own image in the image of god he created them male and female he created them this is considered amorism a figure of speech in which two contrasting parts of a whole are listed in representation of it just as god created day and night and the heavens and the earth there is so much beauty and validation and everything in between in all three respects according to an article by scientific american ambiguity between sex chromosomal orientation and gender is more common than once believed some researchers say that nearly one in a hundred children are born and identified as intersex with a multitude of genes discovered by the scientific community making this possible today as a governing body you as the school board have a unique opportunity to fulfill this mission statement and this parable for some of our most vulnerable students with or without regard to your religious background as elected representatives it is your ethical responsibility to demonstrate a positive example not only to our neighboring school districts but to the very students you seek to nurture and protect thank you so much for your time and we have an additional online speaker it’s vic nichols please unmute welcome thank you the statement was is that it is the policy to prohibit any and all discrimination harassment and bullying based on an individual’s and i’ll summarize the sex sexual orientation gender identity and disability i do not see by good evidence that either the school board or dr spence or anyone else would be able to actually do this in a fair manner and let me give you some examples i present as a taxpayer a voter college degrees a white collar professional with a history of being proven trusted with sensitive information of others and i am not trusted with multiple statements to fulfill criteria to get a massed exemption yet a minor child by law who can do none of those things cannot enter into contracts mortgages credit cards or anything else they have done none of those things but they’re trusted to potentially invade the bodily privacy of another is that appropriate we have an article that was written on 8 16 and what it indicated was that the aap was silencing debate on gender dysphoria and that comes from the society for evidence-based gender medicine where dozens of health professionals were objecting to things like what you’re suggesting in terms of the bathrooms and the like including a post-surgical trans woman who transitioned in the mid-80s and said she has been called transphobic for trying to promote a little sanity when it comes to being called by what you want well i go by my first name my family calls me by my middle name or actually since i’m the last of a number of kids whatever profanity they get to because i’m the last in line at being a swimmer when it comes to locker rooms the fact is there really should not be a mix because i have been in situations where it is so bad that housekeeping ordered the swim teams to clean them up before they would go in there and it was one particular gender that that was true of when it comes to bathroom discrimination let me discuss that as when it refers to the handicap i have been told by the state that although we have to build handicapped bathrooms for you you are not entitled to use them because if other people for whatever reason even if there are all the other stalls there can be seven eight nine stalls open and that person wants to use an able-bodied person wants to use that handicapped stall they have that right to before a handicapped person so i’m very dismayed to find the discrimination that goes on constantly constantly against the handicap when the statements that are made is that it is the school board’s policy to prohibit discrimination harassment and bullying and it includes disabilities so my question is what are we basing this discrimination on why is one group favored over the list of people and i’m using disability as an example multiple issues came up in regards to mass uh mass things and having to fill out forms and things like that and that was very much discriminating it’s very much bullying and it was very much harassment but yet we’re going to expand that please follow up via email if you choose man and chairwoman ryan that was our last agenda speaker for this evening and i um i consulted with the vice chair and we’re going to call a 10-minute break and reconvene in 10 minutes at 9 00.
Okay carol and ry on behalf of the school board reconvening our formal meeting at 9 01 pm we are now at the the consent portion of the agenda and we have religious exemptions listed motion to approve mrs riggs ii mrs hughes okay please show raised hand for approval miss owens how do you how about vote thank you and miss weems how do you vote yes thank you madam chair we have a unanimous vote thank you now the action portion of the agenda and we get we begin with tonight’s pers the personnel report and administrative appointments uh motion to approve mrs franklin second mrs melnick discussion hearing none please show your approval with raised hand miss weems how do you vote yes thank you miss owens how do you vote yeah thank you madam chair we have unanimous vote thank you now we have unsolicited uh madam chair i do have a couple of administrators to announce oh i’m sorry that’s okay please i’d like to start by recognizing ashley godfrey ashley as served with distinction here in virginia beach as a teacher assistant a teacher a coach she’s been at independence middle school salem high school lansdowne middle school she served as an assistant principal at point of view elementary school in bayside elementary school most recently has been serving as assistant principal at three oaks elementary school and we’re pleased this evening that you’ve accepted our recommendation from scott free to service the next principal of lansdowne elementary school congratulations to her i’d also like to recognize amanda lantrip amanda has served with distinction as a distance learning assistant here in virginia beach as a teacher in norfolk public schools also at king’s grand elementary school kimsville and lincoln park elementary school currently serving as an administrative assistant at lynnhaven and rosemont elementary schools this evening we’re pleased you’ve accepted our recommendation for her to serve as the next assistant principal at three oaks elementary school so congratulations to her and finally want to recognize tasha warren tasha has served with distinction as a teacher in north carolina in virginia in colorado she’s served in the department of education in hawaii she’s been a teacher at fairfax county and has served with distinction here as a teacher at princess anne middle school most recently has been serving as an administrative assistant at bayside middle school this evening we’re pleased that you have accepted our recommendation for her to service the next assistant principal at brandon middle school so congratulations to her and that is it madam chair thank you and as always we wish these new administrators much success all right so now that brings us to the unsolicited ppea which uh helped me mr arnold with my brain at the moment public private finished the acronym for me thank you so to introduce any discussion we’ll first ask for a motion to approve mrs riggs second mrs franklin uh we did have discussion last week and the floor is open again for further discussion or questions tonight mrs franklin i just wanted to clarify because i thought that i heard a constituent make uh what i think is an incorrect comment uh last schoolwork meeting and that was that if we take this unsolicited ppe ea that we are choosing to move forward with that it actually opens other offers up is that correct yes ma’am you’re correct um there’s no risk associated with this ppea proposal you’re simply allowing the superintendent to receive it uh and then if you uh refer to your school board policy you’ll see that it it does that that it’ll open up to competition for the rest of the marketplace so we’re not saying that we’re going to take their proposal we’re just allowing it to open up the floor for that okay thank you no risk and no commitment to be pretty very clear mm-hmm and yes mrs maynard maybe if i could suggest for the future if we have one of these that we reword how it’s brought forward to us that we’re approving it to be accepted for consideration or something like that just to help the the public understand because i mean i didn’t understand that at first when it was first presented to us so if maybe in the future we could just present it in a different way we’ll uh evaluate the the language and the policy okay thank you sure yeah i think just one of the challenges to be aware of but we will definitely look at it is that it’s the way the law is written is it it was equally confusing to me the first time i tried to wrap my head around it but it is the way the law is written and it uses that specific language but if we can if we can make it a little clearer we will okay thank you very much yes thank you anybody else all right then all in favor show a raised hand miss uh williams how do you vote yes thank you miss owens how do you vote yeah thank you all opposed please show a raised hand all abstaining please show a raised hand thank you and reason for abstaining um out of abundance of caution even though this does not um constitute any type of contract or anything i occasionally do work with um ballot construction thank you man of chair the motion pass with ten eyes uh no nays and one abstention with miss melnick thank you thank you so that brings us to uh action item c one of two that were added this evening uh the motion regarding health protocols for schools for school board meetings maybe for the benefit of our not just the public but our two remote members and i didn’t i’ll i’ll read it here and then ask for emotions and then up for discussion i move that the school board meetings and committee meetings follow the mask physical distancing and other reasonable health mitigation protocols that the school administration is using in the buildings where the meetings are taking place so uh that’s the motion is there a second mrs riggs okay and i’ll just uh offer a further explanation before it’s open for discussion um it is consistent with with most of last year frankly um and again now it’s consistent with the cdc guidelines for distancing and masking and we are in a high transmission period we continue to be and and the contact tracing is the additional reasoning so with that mrs manning and then mrs anderson um you say physical distancing here and i believe in the reopening plan we talked about three feet of physical distancing but here in the room we have about 10 feet between seats so can you clarify the physical distancing requirement that you’re recommending certainly it’s six feet and if i could ask it’s actually three feet in our schools we have mr freeman we have a unique situation here with contact racing that maybe you could elaborate on and why that was used previously as well um well for so six feet for contact tracing is the standard but in schools where both students are wearing masks there’s an effect an exception that is applied to be able to get down to three feet background priority is to get kids back into face-to-face construction there’s acknowledgment that capacity in schools is an issue so they looked at all of the balance of risk and put that exception in place that exception does not exist for adults so six feet of distancing less than six feet of distancing for greater than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period would require contact reason so can you elaborate more on what the unique challenge of that is a classroom is children have assigned seating and the teacher knows who they are and what you’ve shared that we could all hear um yes so and i think you just covered it so in a classroom environment um we our goal is to and it’s part of the plan that was presented is to have uh chairs separated by six feet we know what chairs that our students sit in uh that so number one if they’re wearing masks and they’re outside of that three feet it doesn’t require uh it won’t result in a close contact if they’re both properly wearing their masks if they’re inside that then it would apply so for adults that standard is six feet but the teacher knows who’s in the classroom and you if you could explain again when the public’s here what the extra challenge is what if when it comes to contact tracing yeah and i think what you’re suggesting is in classrooms we have assigned seats teachers know where they sit in an environment like this you don’t know who’s going to sit it becomes extremely problematic for our health services team to be able to conduct the contact tracing investigation when we know that our board members have assigned seats and some staff have assigned seats in here but everybody else is kind of moving around the seat that’s available mrs anderson um i just wanted to know when will this expire is should we put a timeline on it or should we put some type of stipulation that these mitigation strategies would be in effect until you could certainly do that i think as written you’re going to follow the mitigation strategies that are in place that the administration’s using at that time period and that was intense so if you’re holding the bill the meeting here in this building if they’ve loosened the restrictions in this building and they said we can be three feet away or if you’re vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask and that would be what you would be applying here you could certainly put your own restriction on it if you want to i just thought leaving it this way allows you to do follow whatever the administration determined is appropriate at the time and i said we were a couple weeks ago we didn’t have to have maths on a very vaccinated that was a rule in here that’s no longer the rule okay thank you mrs frank mrs hughes and then mrs franklin so two things i don’t think contract contact tracing would be that difficult as far as board members and staff you know who they are and when other people from the public are in here mostly they’re speakers their names are on a list everything’s on camera you can see when they get up so i think that we would be able to put that together pretty easily um the other thing i would like addressed is where do mask exceptions fit in here because that is you know part of every mandate that has been issued so that would probably the mask exemption issue would be something that the board would want to take up and have a discussion about our our perspective and what we had asked for is if somebody’s requesting an exemption they just simply submit that to the chair excuse me to the clerk that obviously would then remain confidential and then we would be able to create an accommodation for that person there are people who requested them days ago and nobody ever responded to them we’d need to know who they were so we could address that they copied most of the board on them so they haven’t been copied so if somebody could send me that we can we can look at that um mrs the uh so that was addressed in the posted agenda but is there a way to address do you rep how would we address that and as this is written now are you talking about math for the public for the public i believe that’s what mrs uh hughes is requesting i mean what we put in place what was put in place for this meeting and it was posted on the agenda is that her recommendation is to somehow reference that here if i understand you correctly well i mean it applies to board members staff and members of the public we are saying following the mask protocols that the school administration is using in the buildings um so i would say there’s a slight difference between those people that need to be in here employees working here are subject to the rules about the are being put in place for the employees that they want exemption exemptions and accommodation they need to go through the human resources department if you come to this building and say i need to get my fingerprinting done i need to go to hr you would have to talk with them about what accommodation you need and they would work with you as to whether you need an accommodation for that um so i don’t think there aren’t too many situations where anyone’s going to come into this building other than talking to the school administration about what they need for an accommodation you all are school board members this is where you primarily do your business which is why we set the second motion out but i think we are talking still about the public who wants to request an accommodation does the wording hero that says follow the masked protocols that the school administration is using is that sufficient in other words do they need to they they’re re we should you want to approve specific regulation we have a procedure in place we have a forms and a process in place it was spelled out in the agenda it was spelled out on the speaker’s information it was provided to everyone who called and it was explained to them and the form was developed for them so i think mrs hughes is just asking should that be referenced here or is this a fish does this efficiently sufficiently address that specifically about the masking with the public meeting the procedure that they’re using meets that requirement if the school board wants to look at that to have people coming into your meetings you can certainly look at that but i think the procedures developed are appropriate it’s been reviewed by legal counsel it has been reviewed by the school administration the forms are there and the procedures are in place i don’t know how much more you want to reference that so let’s the form somewhere that someone could just go ahead and download it or do they have to wait for you to send it to them yeah it’s the link was on the agenda site the agent the posted agenda had the link to the form is that correct or did they call was that correct or did they call the clerk for the form the link was in the agency if you open the agenda um because i don’t have it open right now so if they take care of that and send it in if you don’t respond to them in the absence of a response can they assume it’s been accepted no because nobody’s responding to them we’re not to my knowledge no one has sent in that form for us to look at and so we would have looked at that form we encourage people to do that but with any ada accommodation or with a religious accommodation it’s not you don’t write it and we have to do it we have to look at it discuss it make sure the accommodation is appropriate and deal with that so there’s an interactive dialogue that has to happen so you need to send us a form so we know what you need i know some of the individuals have called us and asked us about accommodations and i know i saw the paperwork they were working back and forth with those individuals the requirement for the mask accommodation if you did not want to wear a mask we needed evidence of what the medical condition was so we could have that dialogue i did not see any paperwork come in that certified that so one more time the present wording i move that the school board and committee meetings and committee meetings follow and i’m leaving out the other two right now follow the mask protocols that school administration is using in the buildings where the meetings are taking place so right now the protocol is to submit the to to to submit the authorization form for review is that correct yes so is this wording does this wording sufficiently acknowledge that i think that’s the bottom line question right right why not speak for you mrs hughes but well i mean as long as we’re going to be honoring them and actually responding to people and they do not have to state what their condition is if their doctor states that they have an underlying condition that prohibits it that’s enough for you they don’t have to state what it is and that’s fine we would have taken that we just needed your doctor to sign the form so that’s you know we were there was not a procedure in to question whether the doctor is accurate what you were saying we just needed that form from your doctor or health care provider so may ask mrs franklin okay um i just have a couple questions about and i apologize because at the last meeting it was a little bit hard to hear sometimes um virtually um and so when we were discussing um putting the mask in place and the physical distancing and the other recommendations um so what is what was the verbiage was it just k through 12 or is that why we’re doing this motion now because we just said k through 12.
So that’s my first question is that so i’m just trying to understand that are we doing this motion because at the time we only said k through 12 k through 12 in school buildings and school bed okay and then i guess my other question would be for administration here um currently in this building with the employees that are here all the time are they expected to mask in social distance and follow the mitigation protocols yes in this building and i can answer that as somebody works in this building as of august 16th we were required to wear a mouse maintain appropriate social justice thing prior to august 15th if we were vaccinated we didn’t necessarily have to do that but we are now backstage or not we are following that i know we are being informed of contacts i’ve been seeing the normal referrals and we’re taking the appropriate precautions if it if you are subject to a possible exposure okay so so this building is currently being expected to follow the standards okay thank you so much i’m mrs anderson so can we assume that anyone who is in here has and is not wearing a mask is is following the protocols that they have already i mean this is only four i mean this is only four days in the works but that is the that’s the intention for the public yes otherwise they put well the public has the other options of zooming in do they show that as they come in or do they just walk in without a mask and then we just assume that they’ve already sent their form in their protocol is if you had a verified form that exempted you it was on the list for the individuals at the front desk there were a number of people working on this so if we had verified which it much the same way if you have an ada accommodation we had an individual that wanted a a chair not with a regular chair we had already worked out the accommodations for that and so that individual was on the list we knew what that person was going to be you’ll see there’s a chair brought in specifically for that person because that person had talked to us about it we had worked through that there is a list that the individual’s at the front door because we’re not allowing individuals into this building right now unless they have some type of accommodation that allows them not to have a mask on they had to have that so if you had that list we would have brought you in here to do thank you that’s all i learned today uh maybe we owe it to colleagues and others to just elaborate a little further on the six feet versus the three feet and mr freeman just how feasible it would be or not when we’re talking about checking footage just so we can respond to that uh not sure about uh the checking footage but um so the it’s challenging to conduct contact tracing and it’s it takes time um i do not conduct them personally but i’m familiar with talking to mr walla whose team has to do this it’s not an easy process even when things are very well structured and lined down my understanding is it would be challenging to be able to track down every individual even if we have their contact information that they were a speaker to know who was sitting next to who uh during the course of a multi-hour school board meeting and to reiterate reiterate we we did have six feet spacing in here most of last year once we came back in person yeah for the same reasons as you recall when we started the process we were at six feet of distancing and it was a very similar setup that you saw on here except it wasn’t you didn’t have the blue tape that indicated where not to sit we had stickies that indicated where to sit so i understand the visual might be a little bit different when you see all the spaces where you’re not supposed to sit in order to be able to maintain six feet of distance okay mrs manning i would just like to point out that right now basically only a handful of the public can come to our meeting city council is fully open they don’t have any mass requirements they don’t have any social distancing and we’ve been doing this for a long time and the public needs to be present if if this is something that the board’s going to adopt i would like to ask the board to consider an alternative meeting place for us city council met at the convention center for a while the public needs access to our meetings and um we are not governed by the same rules as the school administration building as being a governing body of at a public meeting so we can decide our own roles um and if if staff isn’t isn’t comfortable being in here with everyone i mean let’s have staff be um you know virtual to protect them and and you know if it’s a fear thing then they can be somewhere else but um we need to be open to the public and we are not and so i would like to ask i do not support this um you know other school boards are not doing this look at other school board meetings we are not welcoming to the public at all and that needs to change so i really i do not support this but i’m sure it’s going to get passed i would just really like for you to consider an alternative meeting location so the public can access our meetings so two thoughts come to mind i mean they do the public does have access through television and zoom so to just make an outright comment but i’m sure we can ask staff to come back to us with with to to at least have a discussion about other possibilities um for the future but for now you know we need something in place now but you know we’re limited to to tv capability and and so that does limit our city council was able to do it i’m sure we can figure something out well they have their room with their vb tv at the convention center can somebody else speak to that that i don’t think every room there is equipped with that and we meet the same time they do i understood the last time that that was reviewed uh doc can any of the staff but that’s also something we can certainly um at least get more information on yeah we need to look into that i i thought that the um that the city council meetings at the convention center were incredibly expensive and cost prohibitive for us and so it was tens of thousands of dollars yes and the room quite frankly was very small i had to present something there and it it is tiny it is smaller than this room so there was no i mean we were sitting in chairs um ver single chair spaced um way out it’s very small but it was tens of thousands of dollars for that but maybe we could ask the staff and we can figure out whether it would be via email or in mid manners next time to at least gather and again some of this may be repetitive but memories are short and a year ago seems like 10 years ago and i know this was all it may have been checked into previously but if we could have more updated information again that would be appreciated mrs riggs i was just going to say the same i’m sorry i didn’t know we were on a queue here miss mrs anderson mrs riggs and then mrs hughes again okay i was going to say you know we are more open than we have ever been the fact that we are still using zoom um we also have the vbtv we are more open and you know people want to watch what we’re doing they can sit at home and watch it on tv or they can you know request a zoom link we are more open than we’ve ever been and and as far as you know we’ve had people even complaining about not being able to get to the agenda you know if you go back a couple of years ago when we used to post our agenda in the newspaper you couldn’t click on that so and get anything so we are so much more open now than we have ever been i just can’t can’t say that enough so yes i know it’d be nice to have people come here and sit in the audience and be present but you know we are allowing people to come in and speak personally to us as well as speak through zoom so i just want to say that so okay mrs hughes and then mrs riggs well i think the idea that we’re allowing people to come in is the wrong way to look at it this is this is the people’s building this is a public building these are public meetings conducting public business um as far as what applies to k-12 what we were mentioning before is that we voted and it failed the resolution to make mask optional on a tuesday the health commissioner put out an order it was either on wednesday or it was a day or two after okay two days after and so and it said that order said it applied to k-12 buildings it was extrapolated that would apply to this building but that’s not what the order said and that’s what i was talking about is there’s not an order that says so this was a decision of this board but that decision that order came two days after we voted so when people came to vote that night prior to the order the people who had mask on already knew they were going to vote no to it being optional and and the reason that happened and it was added to this building is because if you voted to make mask mandatory for children and you didn’t in here you were going to face a firestorm and you know it people would have been all over the place calling you hypocrites that’s the reason we’re wearing masks in this building and the second that’s one reason the other reason is it minimizes the public being in here and it’s just wrong the public should be allowed to be in here we’re not allowing them they they own this and so they should be here mrs riggs first of all i wanted to um i remember when we talked about it last year we talked about getting into a bigger space where more people could come we talked about it being cost prohibited we also talked about um the zoom quality and being able to um uh video it i know that the city council can but had something to do with our ability to zoom and i i know that we did our um retreat at um the new uh remodeled annex because it worked for space and it worked for the the zooming quality and it also was not cost prohibitive so that was one of the things i don’t think we need to be adding more to our budget when we’re trying to talk about you know what we have to uh squeeze together now to get the funds we need to educate our kids the second thing is i never thought of keeping people out of here that it had nothing to do with me voting for a mask i voted to have masks on to protect our kids and to make sure we did not have to go virtual again and we kept them in the classroom when school started we are i mean we there’s there’s figures out there that are showing that we are in the high high prior high um um area of covet and i don’t want us to be virtual again that’s the one thing that everybody is agreeable with everybody parents on both sides um all of us we want our kids to be in a face-to-face situation so that is why i voted for that and we have many school board administrators that are in and out of this building and will be in this building at 3 30 and 4 o’clock when we start the meetings and we have people coming in and out and they have to go into our schools that is why i voted had nothing to do with keeping people out i want to hear from everyone i think let’s be uh holding this availability of the zooming um is has been very helpful for our public to be able to say and do i mean they’ve signed up for it i would love to see them here but if they can oh if we only have the space because we have to distance then they have the zoom ability i think we’ve been very fair with it but it had nothing to do with keeping the public out when i voted so i just wanted to make that very clear same with me mrs franklin and then mrs holtz i did have a quick question uh mr eggs you had mentioned to the building that where we had the retreat the annex um is that even a possibility to if we need something larger i guess is my one question and then mr freeman i did um want to ask you really quickly um about the mitigation strategies um it did we ever determine if there is going to be a goal post or a goal that we’re trying to hit in order to relax the you know or you know take a layer off of the medication is there a a milestone of something that we’re trying to achieve yeah i remember that question from last week as well and the short answer is that it’s such a complex interrelationship for all those factors um it wouldn’t be appropriate to say hey if we get to this number we’re going to do this because it depends upon what’s the vaccination rate what is the level of community transmission what are we seeing in our schools are we actually seeing it being spread in our schools and what’s going on there so for us and we went through this last year where with all the good advice that we had we tried to set up certain metrics we would follow and make decisions based on those and when we learned more over time we learned okay well that there’s a better way to do it and we had to make an adjustment so for this one noting the goal is to tell you here the things we’ll monitor and we’ll update you when uh as things progress but there is no defined criteria is if this then this and then the end result will be to take away this mitigation i know i just i thought last year with um all that we had learned and then also um just the fact that we did at least have you know we were looking for that 10 percent or you know whatever metric we were using last year it was just helpful for the community to have something to be keeping their eye on you know in terms of okay well now we’re here and we can all cheer and say hey we’re you know we’re here and now we’ll be able to achieve that so i guess i was just looking to see if we’ve thought about what that metric might look like for this year um so we have and we completely understand the mindset of if you can have that goal but right now again the complex center relationship it would be inappropriate to set that goal because something could turn that and make that problematic uh later on down the line but my commitment to you is to transparently share with you what we’re learning over time so that it’s not a a question because there’s a sense of well that’s not a transparent answer to how we’re going to go about this well the transparency is we’re going to continue to work with our professionals at the virginia beach department of health and we will update you as we learn more information and and it becomes appropriate to make a recommendation about removing some of the mitigations we have in place and if i could add mrs franklin there is at least in my mind a distinction between the virtual versus in person is an obvious impact on families so i think they you know they deserved and we provided a very clear rubric for that here we’re talking i mean they all are in person and it’s it’s a different level of discussion still important but on the mitigations and the masks and for what that’s worth and i think she asked about the availability of the annex we still have employees that are in and out of the annex that are in and out of the schools as well so it would be the same situation if i may suggest because we will have asked administration to come back to us i think we can expect that the annex would be one of the things they’ll report back on so that we can keep moving forward okay thank you and mrs holtz thank you i’d like to add to what miss riggs was saying um at a meeting when i voted my main highlight was open the schools five days a week that was it we’ve been begging for that for a year and a half and we need to make it happen everything else that was put into place was to help us to do that and help us to continue so like some other schools that i’m reading about won’t have to close a month after they open masked was one of those strategies access to the public buildings like parents and even the public coming in here was one of those strategies it’s moving along um to say you know to say that this building was not included in in our discussion to me we didn’t have to mention it it’s it’s understood we all understood that this building is the heart of virginia beach city public schools we’re here we make laws here i mean regulations here our administration is here everything branches out from this building to say that there’s an argument oh this building isn’t included because we didn’t mention it it’s just ludicrous to me i mean who would think that first of all this is temporary temporary i would love all the public to be sitting here but it’s it’ll be over but we have to do what we have to do to keep schools open five days a week and everybody should be complying i don’t think we i don’t think we need any kind of special resolution or vote to do that to me it was understood in the vote that we took last week thank you okay but here we are with this moment and we have mrs weems online and then and then hopefully we can proceed with this vote mrs weems uh ms ryan i didn’t have my hand up to speak oh okay all right all right then um looks like we’re ready emotion uh so all in favor please show a raised hand miss owens how do you how vote you thank you we have eight eyes all all opposed i’m sorry a raised hand miss owens how do you vote oh miss weems how do you vote no thank you all in favor all opposed please raise your hand thank you madam chair we have three nays so the motion did pass with eight eyes and three nays okay and we do look forward to the staff report on possible alternatives so thank you all so the final action item is the motion on school board mask accommodations which i will read now i move that the school board members who seek a medical or other accommodation to the mask and or other health mitigation protocols in place for school board meetings or committee meetings will utilize the accommodation request forms developed for the school board member and will cooperate in efforts to develop reasonable accommodations and again this is requesting an extension of the procedures that that was in place last year so um to open it up a motion to approve uh mrs melnick in a second mrs holtz all right discussion mrs manning so i have a couple of questions um so i would like to know under what authority you have that one elected official has over another because the the laws actually state otherwise so can you can you state another law um that that one elected official can tell another elected official what to do well we’re talking about the school board as a collectively establishing right but an expert collectively cannot tell another elected official what to do mrs linetty back in may stating that i as an elected official did not have to submit paperwork to an employee or that i had to submit paperwork period for a medical exemption and we can ask if there were different circumstance
s than with mrs linetti without going into mrs mann’s personal stuff executive order 79 had an amendment in december that stated that at that point we were not allowed to ask for any reason why an individual required an accommodation for not wearing a mask so after that time period we stopped asking if anybody we didn’t ask you to turn any paperwork we didn’t ask for a mask exemption explanation at that point so when it was asked me at that time here we were no longer asking for that information so that’s why that information was given at the time i believe that the school board can set its own roles it can adopt procedures for that and then it would be a matter of whether that board member was cooperating with the procedure set that the board had adopted so ms lynette you’ve told me over and over again over the last several years that the board has no authority over other elected officials how is this different i don’t think that’s the right characterization what i said what i think is the board has developed a rule if you you came here on wednesday nights when the meeting was set on tuesdays you couldn’t say well as a school board member i’m coming on wednesday for the meeting because you’ve adopted a role that has said that your meetings are on tuesday nights so i think the school board has simply got a motion for it asking that you provide the information on there and i think they’re attempting to accommodate school members in the best manner they can to provide the privacy when we developed last august we dealt with the procedures for this to assure the confidentiality for school board members we directed that director of health services would review these forms to assure that the appropriate accommodations were in place and consistent with the protocols so i think those procedures were developed to help the board there if you’re suggesting you do not have to to follow the rules that your board has set then we’d have to you just have to take an appropriate action that yeah i mean we are elected officials and we have no authority to tell one another what to do either as a collective body um or not i mean the whole meeting thing that’s different we’re setting meeting dates we’re not telling someone what to do with their own person so i think this is a violation of the law if you adopt this and i will challenge it i think i think it’s important that at least that i say this for myself that being an elected official does not exempt me from following rules or for doing right by other people or for setting an example um for our students we have we have 65 000 students and we’re a large school division where people watch us on tuesday nights they talk about this i hear from teachers i hear from children and quite frankly it it put it would put me in a really bad place to be sitting on this diet during a discipline hearing where we’re going to discipline the student for breaking rules when we can’t do that ourselves and it’s the argument i would make as a parent coming forward um that uh you know so-and-so doesn’t do it um so-and-so stood up and said this so-and-so doesn’t have to follow rules because they’re an elected official and i think my child needs another chance because they didn’t follow the rules or don’t want to follow the rules or whatever we’re we’re all leaders and people look to us and i think it’s important that we show that and if it’s wearing a mask for six hours for 10 hours i think that’s what we do and i don’t i don’t like this i don’t like being in a mask i don’t like covid i’m tired of covet but there’s a difference between some of the behavior that’s that’s exhibited and and grace and and i keep saying this every week and i i i just keep just begging for people to just have grace um we had speakers talk tonight about the behavior outside um it this what is going on i think that the level of anger the level of of um well that’s fine i’ll go back to topic i’m just asking for grace and it’s important to um it’s important to have that and it’s important to be a leader because the students are watching us sorry for rambling any other questions or comment before we vote this is man yeah so i personally believe that masking our children for eight to ten hours a day is harmful there are children that have medical exemptions and true medical reasons why they can’t wear a mask and they shouldn’t be shamed as this board has done to other board members so so i i agree that we need to set examples and if if there’s someone that needs a medical accommodation they should never be shamed they should never be humiliated as has has been done in this board before um and um why i i just i another question that i have here it says that um utilize accommodation request forms developed for school board members and will cooperate who gets those forms who sees those forms when we developed the forms last year the governor’s committee had us developed forms it’s similar to the form that the human resources department did at the bottom it says at that time it was mary shaw we’ve updated it to be heidi sawala so it would go for medical accommodation if you’re seeking another accommodation such as a religious accommodation it wouldn’t necessarily go to um to heidi’s wall it might come to administration where you’d have to figure out or the school board but so far we developed medical form we can adjust one for another type of accommodation needed so i don’t think that it’s appropriate for school employees to see the medical history of a board member i can only say that uh the chair the the school board attorney nobody else in this room ever saw any other form it was strictly the health service coordinator yeah and we are not employees of the division so i don’t think it’s appropriate that employees of the division see our personal medical history i’m not sure there’s a quest for personal medical history there’s a press for a doctor to explain what accommodations are needed and again the compromise this was the issue we had last year because the concern was who should look at this the decision was made that since we have a director of health who is generally a nurse that that person be qualified to have a discussion with the medical provider who signed it if that was necessary or to determine what was appropriate because they’re used to the confidentiality rules after that uh that was a compromise the governance committee recommended that the school board accepted how to protect the confidentiality but again with any ada request you have to provide some information so we can have a dialogue as to what the appropriate accommodation is for your needs okay final call before a vote all right all in favor please show a raised hand miss owens how do you vote i vote yet thank you and for the record uh miss weems is not online okay all opposed please show a raised hand there were seven eyes there were three nays and one non-vote with miss weems so the motion did pass all right information we are beginning with program evaluation schedule and we do have a handout for those who want to dig for theirs and welcome dr jannecki thank you just give me one moment to get to your presentation good evening chair rye vice chair melnick members of the school board and dr spence i’m dr heidi jannecki director of research and evaluation this evening i will share the proposed schedule of program evaluations that will be conducted during 2021 2022 based on school board policy 6-2-6 before presenting the evaluation schedule for the upcoming year i’ll provide an overview of the evaluation reports that will be provided in upcoming months based on last year’s schedule the reports that will be provided to the school board this year based on the 2020-2021 program evaluation schedule are shown on the slide the two evaluation update reports for the school counseling program and schoology were distributed to the school board in june the remaining reports will be provided to the school board throughout the fall and winter beginning with the implementation evaluation of the environmental studies program at the chesapeake bay foundation’s brock environmental center the final comprehensive evaluation of the entrepreneurship and business academy and the year one evaluation of pbis will be provided in november the final evaluation of the esl program will be provided in december and the srt evaluation will be provided in january as stipulated by school board policy the proposed 2021-2022 program evaluation schedule which will be shown on the next slide was developed based on evaluation requirements for programs based on the policy new programs or initiatives that operate with local resources are evaluated for a minimum of two years and then during the year of full implementation if a program takes more than two years to implement in addition programs that have been previously evaluated may remain on the schedule as a result of an evaluation plan for the program that was previously approved by the school board in addition the program evaluation committee reviews existing programs for possible addition to the evaluation schedule as space allows the committee includes representatives from various departments and schools the virginia beach education association and the community each year the proposed program evaluation schedule is presented to the superintendent senior staff and the planning and performance monitoring committee to obtain feedback regarding the recommendations the proposed evaluation schedule for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year will require school board approval the proposed program evaluation schedule for 2021 2022 is shown on the slide the first two programs listed are previously planned evaluations the year two environmental studies program evaluation will assess the program’s operation and outcomes during the year of full implementation in grades 11 and 12.
The year 2 evaluation of pbis will continue to focus on tier 1 implementation and outcomes across all schools three additions to the evaluation schedule include achieve 3000 the gifted resource cluster program and alternative education at renaissance academy achieve 3000 is a supplemental online literacy program for students in grades three through 12.
each of these three programs were selected for inclusion on the schedule based on program evaluation committee members perceptions that they had the potential to have a large and positive impact on vbcps reaching its goals the cost of the programs and because information about the program’s effectiveness within the division was not readily available it was determined that achieve 3000 and the gifted resource cluster program would both be scheduled for comprehensive evaluations this year examining implementation and outcomes the alternative education program will be scheduled for an evaluation readiness report the evaluation readiness process allows the evaluators in collaboration with the program managers and staff to refine division-wide goals and objectives for the program to determine the design of the evaluation and specific data that will be used to measure goal attainment and to develop an evaluation plan and this concludes the presentation of the program evaluation schedule for the upcoming school year i’m available for any questions at this time colleagues um you said that um evaluation of new and existing programs you said that this will require school board approval yes usual it will come back for um usually on the consent agenda at the next meeting okay all right thank you and this is his um if i’m not mistaken this is the first evaluation of pbis is that correct that is correct it was slated for its year one evaluation during 1920 and because of the school closure there we did not have all of the data that we needed and we postponed that one year what was the first year that we implemented pbis there have been versions of pbis through different names and through different avenues over the years i believe it might have been 1516 through a grant program through an mtssb grant multi-tiered systems of support and that was different than how we are implementing pbis now through the coaching model and so when that when our schools moved into our model that is when um it was added to the schedule okay thank you and we did a planning an evaluation planning year with them as well okay this is anderson what wasn’t it implemented like in a few schools and then yes the next year a few more schools and we gradually introduced it that’s why it started in 2015 but 2016 was a few more schools in 2017 a few more schools is that right dr spence yes ma’am schools came in at different times and um so we now have all schools who are in one of the stages of implementation but we’ve got several schools that have been doing it for a number of years several schools that have only been doing it for a year or two at this stage right right but it still seems you would have been evaluating it before you know we grew it i mean that’s part of just like we were talking about with the um you know pilot for new software instead we just kept implementing it more and more and more and it was on the schedule to be evaluated five years in but because of the shutdowns it’s being evaluated six years in right it seems like it should have been sooner anybody else before we excuse dr jannecki janicki all right we thank you okay thank you uh so now we have a list of policy review committee recommendations again oh there you are mrs linetti you disappeared for a moment good evening madam chairman vice chair of school board members and dr spence i’m camie linnetti school board legal counsel and on behalf of the policy review committee i will be bringing you quite a lot of policies this evening first on our policy is 4-1 which is under the employee section on that it’s involving definitions we updated this plan on the recommendation of human resources because some of the things we’ve changed you saw several means ago we changed the benefits and policies relevant to vrs plans and benefits we’ve consolidated them all in one policy so we decided to take it out of the reference in here like you’ll see under full time under a1 we’re just referencing the policy instead of all the regulations you’ll see the same thing pull down we did a little bit more explanation on part-time employees and see also comes under a1 again you’ll see some changes under temporary employees under f we had a further explanation as to the benefits and rights for them and again citing the policy 437 which you improved several months ago and making clear that temporary employees do not have access to the agreements rights again probationary employees mostly cleaning up sites and again referencing some of the policies and regulations that we’ve since modified for them so those are the regulations that bring the policy amendments on 4-1 are there any questions as to the recommendations relatively simple moving on to 418 this is dismissal or placement on probation most of this is basically scrivener changes or updating some of the law on there so on 4 18 you see some scrivener changes in section a and b and then cleaning up some of the editor’s notes there are no significant recommendations we did update the reference to the regulations that that are in there are there any questions on 418.
Moving on to 475 again also in the personnel section this is conditions of employment on there we are clarifying issues to make sure we’re compliant with the americans with disabilities act so under set section a it will read all applicants employees must succeed the necessary skills and essential functions and ability to perform the functions of the job sought after are hired for that’s to make it consistent with the ada regulations there are really just some scrivener changes that fall throughout the rest of this particular policy and then clarifying this is section g we updated the reference on to those crimes that would be disqualifying you from having employment this is actually set out by code as you know the general assembly has done significant work in this area as to what kind of crimes will prevent an individual from having a job on there so these re the suggested amendments here actually reflect current law that’s coming in the last two years so under the paragraph begins the superintendent of designee we’re talking about the conviction of any violent felony that set forth in a barrier crime again that section the new the amendment to the new virginia code section 19.2 39.2 also we talked about later on there’s an additional sentence that the school division may employ an individual has been convicted of any felony or crime or moral chip that has not set forth in the definition of burial crime in code code of virginia 19.2 392.
02 as amended and does not involve the sexual molestation physical or sexual abuse rape of child provided in the case of a felony conviction the governor has restored the individual civil rights again those are amendments that the general assembly has put through in the law to assist in allowing individuals with prior crimes to be employed you’ll see a clarification under i which has to do with probationary periods and i think we explained this earlier for instructional individuals the time period for your probation is actually set up by statute so again in calculus sorry this i one in calculated probation a year of service the first year is defined as 160 more are actual days worked the remaining probation years of service shall be defined as 180 days or more actual work during the school year that is actually set up by code that was not in our regulation our policy before and then just some more clarifications involved and updating of legal references that have to do with changes in the law a little complicated but those are mostly statutory changes that are came into effect in the last two years are there any questions on that particular policy mrs manning yeah i just have one clarification cami um so regarding so in the part where it says the school division may employ an individual who has been convicted of any felony etc provided that in the case of a felony conviction the governor has restored the individual civil rights so if a person has been convicted of sexual molestation sexual abuse rape of a child and the governor restored their rights then they can still work in our division that that’s what the statute reads yes yes yes right except if the governor has restored the individual’s rights correct correct so she’s she’s saying that i’m right i don’t i’m sorry i don’t read it that way i mean i think it’s it says if they have uh we can employ any visual individual who’s been convicted of any felony or crime of moral turpitude that’s not set forth in the definition of barrier crimes as amended and does not involve the sexual molestation physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child so that’s the specific set-aside it cannot involve any of those things no matter what it can be another felonies and which can we can hire them in the case of another felony conviction if the governor has restored their individual rights but we cannot do that if it involves the sexual molestation physical or sexual abuse or rape of a child or any other felony crime that’s set forth in the definition of a barrier crime in the code of virginia which is really what the sexual molestation physics are that is the right thing about this policy can i finish this i questioned this myself okay for the same reason could we get some clarifying language to that then if we’re all confused about it can can it be reworded leave that as a language out of the statute but if you’d like me to pull this back off and verify it for you before um i mean i think that’s a pretty it’ll co i can verify it between now and the next meeting i’ll let you clarify but i believe this language is straight out of the statute yeah i mean i if i could just now that we’ve done i trust your viewpoint on it i just want it to be explained a little bit better for the public and people who are reading it so that there is not that confusion would you like me to bring it back to the prc or would you like me to send it out to the school board members with adjusted language i’m fine with adjusted language if everyone else is just trying out the language for everybody to read policy chair says okay thank you all right so i will take that back and i will clarify the language for you with an explanation and then we’ll bring it back i’ll send it out to you and if you’re all right with that it will move with the corrected language to the action agenda for the next meeting okay i mean the fact that now we know it can’t the questions come up twice at the committee level on this right collective school board level thank you okay moving on to policy 488 this has holidays again some updated language coming out of the journal we also this has not been properly formatted before so you see we’ve added formatted so section a is designated holidays we’re adding election day and the november election day as a holiday under b holidays on weekends and makeup days we’re going to fix the outlining on it we’re already at section two when the observed holiday falls on a day in which schools are still in session the superintendent of designation will have the authority to designate an alternate date to observe the holiday award employees additional annual personal reasons leave in lieu of holiday that’s the additional language and again we’ve just formatted the rest of the the policy to be consistent with our other policies are there any questions it looks like our next regulation is a this one is a regulation and again you do have obligations to certain regulations and regulations that involve student discipline are required to be reviewed by the school board this is regulation 5-21 or to do 22.1 student suspensions we’ve clarified some of the language in b under these particular suspensions under b deals with out of school suspensions of 10 days or less remember we’ve explained this before you have a property interest in attending school if it’s more than 10 days so this is a lesser form of suspension the clarification comes in section two the principles and there should be apostrophe here the principles discretion those students who have five or more disciplinary referrals without improvement in behavior after interventions and supports in place by the school may be referred to the office of student leadership for follow-up contact with adult students or parents legal guardians of minor students as explained to us by mr mcgee part of the process when you’re working with the student you’re trying the interventions in school if you get to the point where you’re multiple multi-interventions and you’re not getting any improvement now you’re going to go down to the office student leadership they’re going to work on a contract and try to explain to the family and the student why they need more cooperation enter a contract they want that clarified process and that allows us to work without the student leadership not just at the school level most of the best changes you’ll see here are basically scrivener’s changes to make some of the wording consistent with language that we’ve had before again definite defining difference between minor students and adult legal guardians that’s most of the changes that you’ll see through the rest of the regulation and i think under long term suspension 2 d a little bit explanation down in the end of the first of the into the first full paragraph the adult student the student begins with sorry the paragraph that begins the adult student or parent legal guardian reminder student may appeal a decision to the hearing officer or the discipline committee to school board by notifying the director of the office of students leadership and writing if you go down on the end of the paragraph the last sentence that paragraph will now read the additional committee will consider the appeal within 30 days of the appeal but such date may be extended by mutual consent or when it is not practical to hold a hearing within the 30-day period you’ve noticed that it with a cut with the um not that we’ve had a lot of disciplinary hearings but there were times last year where we couldn’t get the individuals in so as long as there was consent sometimes we went into a situation where our parent is not available or a student is going through a criminal matter or in the juvenile detention center we can’t get them so this clarified that we’re going to try for 30 days but if we agree to it we can go past the 30-day period the rest of the language in here just is consistent with that and clarify it to some little bit of clarification on expulsion also a little clarification in the middle of that particular paragraph that you can expend past the 30 days by mutual consent for the hearings again allows us a little bit more time with the pandemic situation and in those cases where the parent or the adult student agrees to continuation we’re going to allow for a little bit time to pass the 30 days again the rest of the regulations are fairly long regulation but it is just involving clarification mostly in the adult student and parent legal guardian language that we use consistently in our policies are there any further questions moving on to policy 5-25 this involves student placement again a little bit of clarification on the language on second paragraph that has to do with twins and siblings mostly just clarification on that language and scrivener’s changes any questions there are no questions on 525 this just has to do with student placement and the clarifications moving on to 526 this is course load very minor recommendations for changes they’re mostly scrivener changes on there you’ll see mostly after the word superintendent adding the word or destiny and taking out the language referencing to he and she but no other recommendations for changes to 5 26 moving on to policy 527 if there’s no question this is promotion retention and acceleration i love the clarification the first sentence we’ve clarified under kindergarten that students shall be retained in kindergarten only after conference with the parent legal guardian and approval of principal destiny the principal or designee’s decision will be final we’ve had that section again under section b we’re talking about what are the rules for promotion clarifying that one or more of the following factors set forth and there’s 12 factors set forth will be considered and noting at the new addition that the decision to promote a student funnel with the principal or designee going back on to section the new edition of section f which will be final decision on promotion or attention the principal destiny will have final authority to decide whether a student will be retained or promoted to next grade students who have met the academic requirements to be promoted will not be retained for social emotional or disciplinary reasons this is frequently an issue that we have and our policy has not been clear in the past about that so we’re putting that wording in there are there any questions about this particular policy moving on to moving on to policy 528 reporting student progress mostly scrivener changes that you’ll see throughout here involving clarifying the difference between adult students and parents and legal guardians of them verifying the language i don’t see any other significant changes other than clarifying some of the legal references so these are just a review with scrivener’s changes are there any questions on policy 528 529 is awards for achievement class rank honor designations first paragraph just the clarification in the final sentence and awards donated by agencies which are recognized nationally approved by superintendent destiny or the school board may be awarded to students we are clarifying language we have it’s been our practice for a while and we did not have the policy full fully cleaned up so we removed section d where it read valedictorian salutatorians that was your practice not to have that we pulled that out we pulled out class rank e we designated what was f as honor designations no significant changes and that’s the minor scrivener changes on that and then one clarification was under honor designations under section 2 the following honor designations we have added a section e and that will now say and will be awarded will be added to the student’s final transcript the information about that on our designations are there any questions about this particular policy mrs franklin then mrs manning and i’m sorry maybe i i’m just going to ask for a little levity here because i was not sitting on the board at the time when we decided to uh i guess eliminate the valve south um designations and i’m just um if you could give me just a little bit of history and i apologize i probably should have asked this before the meeting i can try to help with that so the the initial conversation around valedictorian salutatorian actually came to us from students started with students at princess anne high school who came forward expressing concerns that if they were not in the ib program at princess anne high school they would never be eligible to be valedictorian or salutatorian at princess anne high school because the coursework that was required for ib always gave students a higher gpa than students who were not in the ib program we then heard similar comments from students at ocean lakes high school and then we actually heard sort of opposite comments from students at salem high school because uh students in the visual and performing arts did not have access to weighted coursework that would allow them to in the academy actually be eligible to become valedictorian salutatorians so then there was a long conversation with the school board and with the community and in our schools and with our principals and a lot a lot of conversation in our high school principals ultimately came back with a supportive recommendation that we would remove valedictorian and salutatorian there was also a lot of conversation in there about the fact that you are only recognizing two students if you were at our graduations this um this uh last june you would have seen if most of our high schools asked their students with a 4.0 or higher to stand up and it was like 20 of the class in some cases and so students who had worked very hard who would not able to get that rank so there was discussion about what was happening in other places around the country and the the the real interesting part of that conversation became looking at the latin honor system that’s employed at the university level and implementing a latin honor system that would allow you to recognize with distinction students who had achieved different benchmarks so basically the idea set the bar and let anybody who hits that bar be recognized with latin honors distinction so um if you can see there on the section two under d a student with a 3.0 is considered an undergraduate of three five two three seven five is a [ __ ] laude distinction at 376-399 is a magna [ __ ] laude and anybody over 4.0 is a sumukun ladi so a different way for students to receive to receive distinction so that was the kind of brief history of that okay i i being at the graduations i do have to say that i i’ve really enjoyed listening to the valedictorian salutatorians give their speeches and um you know provide just a student experience um you know and some leadership there but you know um well i think uh one of the parts of the conversation that the board had at that time uh was that there will be other opportunities for different students to be able to speak and it won’t just be limited to valedictorian salutatorian and there were a lot of examples shared principals myself included who had student speakers who were elected by the student body or who were elected by their teachers for example when i was a high school principal so different ways to approach that but there will still be student speakers okay thank you and mrs franklin i can add and i’m sure i’m not the only one here who would offer but i’d be happy to speak further with you but a little more context this dates back four years ago so the incoming senior class this policy was put in effect just before they entered freshman year and so a lot of discussion revolved around just the evolution in the country and we were at the point four years ago where well over 50 percent of all public and private high schools in the country are unranked and and even among the most elite colleges they have been dealing with unranked students for decades now including my alma mater and many others and there’s i even have some of the forms for one when my children applied and there’s some there’s some actual lines about um you know i forget which you know is it the top two percent the top five percent so there’s still ways that this that the school can delineate for the for the college but i mean this applies to the academies as well they all had to adjust again dating back to the earliest schools and it was actually a number of the private schools that initiated this originally especially the private schools who tend to attract all high achieving students who are college bound and none of the parents wanted their child to be ranked 75th out of a class of a hundred you know because they were all high-performing and and it it’s and then it’s also just about within each of our schools now there are so many different programs under the roof of each of these schools and not all students within each building have access to all the courses the same coursework so then it became you know and there’s there’s a viewpoint that i happen to agree with it’s like comparing apples and oranges even within each setting but i mean you know there’s there’s there’s a range of thoughts on it but those were some of the the rationales for doing what we did at the time and this is just for information tonight and yes mrs anderson so and the fact that we added e which says and will be added to the student’s final transcript so in other words um their their distinction of whether they are honor student or whether they are cumulative magna [ __ ] laude or summa [ __ ] laude what we added to their transcript and i felt that was important to to add so that people you know as their transcript was sent out people would know that oh yeah this this is not just this is not just an honor student and it’s very important i think for students who achieved especially uh higher than a 4.
0 for that people for people to know that that you know they’ve achieved this in become lot and that distinction goes with them so this is manny um yeah so there were other ways we could have dealt with it just to give the other perspective of of a vast majority of the public who wanted to keep valedictorian salutatorian we could have had two at each one of our academy schools and we opted not to do that um one understanding that i had and i don’t i don’t have the other associated policy with this um this completely blocks out class rank and um as as a parent who just went through college applications um the colleges my son applied to all did ask for class rank it did not ask for um it did not ask for a percentage it said how many out of how many and we were required to answer that and last year i was able to get that this next year for my other son i won’t be able to get that um based upon this i cannot okay so that was my question this is this is completely obliterating class rank in this policy um if we need to get that for college application can we i can only say that like i said well over 50 percent of the high schools in the country their children they’ve been providing the information the college has needed and it’s it’s there’s a system in place because this is not in a unique system so let’s spell it out in the policy here because right now we’re completely obliterating item e class rank so um is there is there an avenue for um students to get class rank right now if there’s a requirement for them to have class rank that could be provided yes that was part of the conversation it was okay um i think we should include that in the policy if that’s the case i don’t think it should be asked for i think it should be required i i think the policy committee if you’re going to have this conversation probably needs to take it back up because there’s a difference between ask fors and requires because most of them do not require it’s they they still ask for it but they don’t require it well and there’s also it’s it’s not just um and i think we have this conversation it’s not just colleges um the academic aspects um the athletics department asks for it and requires it um i mean if you’re if you’re signing up for your car your your athlete to play college sports the initial questionnaire you get you have to complete class rank and it won’t let you move forward if you don’t so right so i think that the requirement can be embedded in there but you probably should kick it back to the prc to have that conversation since this is a policy that’s been longstanding yeah i would i would suggest that as well right so we’ll be taking then 529 back to prc yeah i’ve noted what we need we’ll have to reorder it and take a look at what the required language is i would like to involve um dr green’s office to verify what it is they need to do um two more correct all right i missed them all right 531 is scholastic records and again as you remember we need to monitor our policies every five years the last time you looked at this one was i believe 2014 so there are not going to be significant changes recommended it’s a fairly long policy just clarifying the family educational rights and privacy act ferpa is a federal law that deals with student records virginia law reform and the federal law refers to as education records whatever reason the virginia law dealing with records calls it scholastic records so that’s why there’s a slight difference here so we use the term scholastic records here the only changes here are just simply scrivener changes that reflect updated positions and some clarifying language there really is no significant changes that are being recommended for this policy we were simply but looking out to verify it was compliant with current law so there are no other significant changes other than the scrivener’s changes that are recommended are there any questions on 531 okay the really exciting one is by 677.
There was a change in the law an adoption law code of virginia 22.1 215.2 parent notification literacy response to intervention screening and services and certain assessment results this went into effect first year so we needed to adopt a policy that’s consistent so this the recommended adopted policy will read literacy response to intervention screening and services the superintendent of designee will develop procedures for providing timely and written notification to adult students or parents legal guardians of minor students who a undergo literacy in response to intervention screening and services and b do not meet the benchmark on any assessment used to determine aspects learners in preschool through grade 12 such notifications shall include all such assessment scores and sub scores and intervention plan the results from such assessment subscore scores or sub scores and again that is required as of the new adoption law by the general assembly and the code section cited there so we’re recommending that you adopt this policy to be consistent with requirements of law are there any questions on these policies i haven’t we’re still on section b well i need to put down that pile all right moving back to policy 5-7 would you like me to go back over some of the powerpoint information or where would you like me to start with this i i mean i have to throw it out to the at least for the benefit of the public who wasn’t watching the workshop do we will at least flash some of the first screens and she can just what i can do is go back over the legal requirements i may not spend as much time on the court language for you since i a lot of that was for you to understand where we were all right again for the school community that’s watching the purpose of this is not necessarily advocate for where i think you should be is but i want the school board to understand what the state of the law is so you have some idea what you are required to do or not required to do again as i mentioned before policy 5-7 is your student non-discrimination and a harassment policy it’s set forth basically what you’re seeing up on the screen under b1 which talks about the categories what we call protected classes we pulled those originally from the virginia human rights act up until 2020 the virginia human rights act did not include the protected categories of sexual orientation and gender identity it went up before the general assembly every year for approximately 23 years and every year it got turned down in 2020 it was eventually adopted and you were required to incorporate it into your non-discrimination policies however when the supreme court did the overflow versus felder case which had to do with the gay marriage cases that particular case then stated that you could not discriminate against individuals based on the sexual orientation of gender identity at that point after discussing with the board we decided in 2016 to go ahead and add the categories of sexual orientation and gender and identity into your non-discrimination policies so it appeared both here in 5-7 and also in your your section 4 having to do with personnel so you have made a commitment since 2016 to include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity again when the this particular act was amended and in 2020 it required that you have these in that you already have them in your policies but you’ve made that commitment already what happened in 2020 was that the code of virginia was amended by the general assembly 22.1 23.
3 and yes i did catch that mistake that was the updated agenda some of these citations were incorrect some will correct a lot of information but what i wanted you to see in here is that the general assembly directed the department of education to develop the model guidelines and then set forth the categories that you are seeing up there on the screen so these are categories that we had to figure out how we were going to incorporate first category is compliance with applicable non-discrimination laws i believe you’ve already got that information in your non-discrimination laws two you have to do maintenance of safe supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment of all students three prevention of in response to bullying and harassment four maintenance student records five identification of students six is protection student privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information seven was enforcement of sex based dress codes eight was student participation sex specific school activities events and use of school facilities activity events do not include it actually says competitive athletics that is specifically exempted from the statute what’s most important for you is section b which again this the general assembly said each school board shall adopt policies that are consistent with but they may be more comprehensive than the model policy developed by the department of education so that was the direction of the general assembly the virginia department of education then developed its model guide onto the treatment of transgender students this came out last year in december it was pretty comprehensive and when it was put out it was put out in the regulatory form which allowed the public to make comments as i mentioned before i believe that well over six thousand or more comments and shut down the system normally in a regulatory process once all these comments come back in the agency that is putting out the proposed regulation takes those comments and looks at them some of the other policies we’ve seen we’ve seen this go back and forth for 13 or 14 years before it’s resolved in this case the virginia department of education did not look at any any comments did not make any changes and they actually said as of april 2nd 2020 those guidelines were finalized in the regulations so that left us with no room to move with them or get the virginia department of education to challenge some of these issues we were well aware the council school attorneys and other individuals the education law that there were some serious concerns about the legality of some of the information we had in here what you saw throughout the guidelines was well when you’re not sure what to do talk to your school attorney that was a serious concern for us but we had to work through this there were several groups that decided to try to challenge the implementation how the regulations were being adopted they were consolidated into a case that went into the lynchburg circuit court that the court then made a decision in july of 2021 long story short they basically said you don’t have the ability to go forward you have not been injured or harmed we’re not going to take the suit any further so therefore we were all waiting to see if there’s any chance that the court was going to either issue an injunction or somehow stay the requirement that we had to implement these policies and most school divisions that’s why we’re late doing this we wanted to see what was going to happen with that particular case so once we found out in july that it was not there was no pending injunction or stay of these proceedings we needed to go forward with that so that’s how we end up coming to the policy review committee there was not a policy review committee meeting in july so we could not bring it forward until august that’s why the information came out to you in august again the same things we talked about that we were looking at we need to look at was the nondiscrimination and a bullying policies the privacy information for students student records which involved names and pronouns dress codes had to be sex and gender-neutral access to activities and facilities had to be addressed in professional development and training you saw the dress code policy we did bring that forward because that was actually another statute that required that we had the dress code be neutral that’s already in place again i went through a lot of the gavin grimm case for you i’m not going to go back to all the comments to look at that case is online it had a long procedural history the most recent decision i’m sliding to is a 2019 decision what happened in the gavin grimm case was the gloucester school board said we are going to make a determination that we have boys bathrooms and girls bathrooms and based on your biological gender that is going to determine what bathroom you can use that then resulted in a long series of litigation the individual in that particular case was identified male so gender identity was male wanted to use the male bathrooms and the and the gloucester county school board initially allowed that student for about seven weeks to do that there were no incidences and there were then complaints from adults in the community and that’s resulted in the school board coming up with a new process they actually during that time period the gloucester court then decided to put in the bathrooms full petition so instead of having an open bottom over the top they put a full petition in there they thought that was going to resolve the problem it did not resolve the issue again this case has gone back and forth a few times up through the courts but eventually in this particular case by the time it came back up again before the fourth circuit in the court of appeals the student had added a second charge to it was that the student wanted the students records to be amended to reflect the student’s gender identity at this time and that the at that time the gloucester court was not willing to do that this went up to the fourth circuit the fourth circuit basically gave a pretty blistering opinion on this particular case and that’s why i want you to pay attention to this particular decision when you discuss it the the fourth circuit which you are covered by the first circuit because you are in virginia and virginia falls into the fourth circuit makes certain things very clear four seconds being very clear that there is no evidence that transgender students are peeping toms they also said there is no evidence that cisgender students will pretend to be transgender students for the purposes of getting into bathrooms there are many many pages where they’re going through the reports on that they noted that sex segregated bathrooms are allowed so you can have a boys bathroom and a girl’s bathroom but you can’t discriminate based on the gender identity going into that so you have a boys bathroom you have a girls bathroom but the four circuits made it very clear if that student identifies as a girl that student gets to use the bathroom for girls some of the clarification came out this was the case in 2020 the bostik versus clinton county case that came out of the united states supreme court this was not a student case it’s involved an employee in a county situation what that case stands for is the supreme court it made very clear that if you discriminate against a grand student or student sorry transgender employee or transgender person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity that is considered to be discriminating against the person under sex so that protects the person under title vii of the civil rights act for schools that would also apply as title 9 of the education amendments act and i’m not going to go through all these different quotes i had for you you can take a look at we went through that earlier but it is a blistering decision on there so what i point to you is if you think wow maybe the court hasn’t considered some of the issues we heard tonight read back through this decision they have looked at every one of the complaints you’ve heard tonight and decided that they do not the fourth circuit does not complete believe those to be adequate reasons to discriminate against students one of the issues they were very particular about and i’m not sure which page i’ve got this on this page which says you see the bottom of the paragraph it says biological gender they made it very clear that there was nothing to support the gloucester county’s decision to create a category called biological gender for gloucester county that was whatever was on your birth certificate and the court made it very clear that that was not appropriate you could not define bloc biological gender that way you could not define gender that way and that you could not use that on there so that is if you’re going to make up a term or use a term we need to be extremely careful because the four circuits made it very clear that they are not going to accept made-up terms it needs to be based on research and i’m not going to go back to all these quotes but i put some of them in there you’ve heard what they call the predator myth you’ve heard a lot of that tonight the court was in multiple cases multiple sections of the opinion made it very clear that there is no evidence of support that the school board after school board has brought this up both in the fourth circuit and in the united states and there is no evidence to support this and the court found that to be very offensive so that would be something we a hurdle we would have to get over if you’re going to challenge something like that i also put in part of the concurring decision from judge nguyen because i think it was clarifying much more about what the civil rights violations were and again judge one is very clear going back to much of the information we’re hearing now is very similar to what you saw in the 1950s was reason to segregate black individuals from white individuals in the community and the judge made that very very clear in his decision and his concurring decision again noted also judge wynn pointing out that the predator transgender predator myth is something that is not supported by evidence again citing the constitutional violations i’ve also note that there was a significant dissent by just neymar judge neymar was pointing out that you can segregate based on sex that that is appropriate at times so the judge thought that was significant judge neymar also in his ascent pointed out that he felt that the majority decision was clearly attempting to enforce a policy and not applying the law so that is what you descend in that case again i bring this up to your attention because the fourth circuit is the law that controls here if we’re in a situation we either have to bring a lawsuit or defend a lawsuit this is what we’re going to have to overcome if we’re going to deal with bathrooms that is currently the law in the fourth circuit so going back to policy 5-7 again as i mentioned this is your non-discrimination policy as i pointed out you’ve had sexual orientation the other identity that is something you committed to many years ago that’s already in your policy so what we did with regulation 5-7.1 was there were certain categories that we didn’t address before because there’s things that we simply have not had into policy a little concerned about the confidentiality of information we’ve always had confidentiality you know as well as i do that student education records must mean okay must be maintained confidential but we needed for the pilot to be consistent with the policy we needed to say that we were going to protect information about transgender students we’ve never had a policy on names and pronouns and that’s the model guidance suggested that we had that in there so we had to draft some guidance on names and pronouns this is not something we haven’t dealt with before we normally work with the student and the student’s family as how best to deal with this i think there’s a misconception that the student’s going to be able to do whatever they want and we’re not going to consult the parent if you’re an adult student you’re over 18 you have the right to make decisions for yourself we will have to abide by what the student said but if you’re under 18 we are going to be obligated to work with your parents and we will look at the situation we are going to require we will have to use the legal name on our documents it’s on your your the documentation we have with you but if your parent agrees that we can call you sally instead billy then we’ll work that out we’ll call you sally that’s not necessary for our paperwork if you legally want your name changed you do have to bring the court documents in and that’s what the regulations reflect participation activities again i will slightly the statute is very clear competitive sports do not are not addressed under this policy so all this would be on the sports and activities were some of your extracurricular activities i think there was a misconception on the boys choir what they were actually saying was rather than seeing boys and girls choir you could say sopranos and altars have a choir you can say bass bass tenors have their own choir you can define it like that they’re suggesting that if you if it’s necessary for the activity to define by male and female you do that but if it’s not necessary look for other ways to categorize that again that is required by the statute that we had to put that in i go back to the restroom and locker rooms again i point out to the grim decision that has been decided in the fourth circuit i right now there is no other law that says we can discriminate against an individual based on bathrooms so look at that we put that in regulation 544.2 544 policy 544 is your sexual harassment um statute or title ix statute that we had to amend last year again last year the u.s department excuse me we need to catch up with our slide all right thank you that particular statute we decided to put the restroom in locker rooms over here in this particular statute because that’s very specifically having to do with sex and we thought that would fall under the title ix procedures as i mentioned earlier the united states department of education required us to put very comprehensive title ix policies and regulations in as i mentioned again for the public we are currently being monitored by the u.s department of education i had a call last last week asking about the status of our title ix procedures in there we’re they’re monitoring us not for a specific violation but they asked to verify that we have to get that information into them so that is a concern for me i mentioned a lot on the federal law piece because i think that’s important there’s a lot of focus right now on virginia department of education can’t make you do something the general assembly can’t make you do something that is one issue that you are going to have to deal with what are your obligations to the general assembly what are your obligations to the department of education regardless of whether you adopt the model policies or not you are still subject to the federal law as i mentioned before the u.
s department of education put out guidance on several weeks ago and last week they actually put out a youtube message to transgender students and it was in conjunction with the us department of justice and they made it very clear to transgender students that if the australian industry feel that their rights have been violated that they cannot use bathrooms they cannot do sports they are being treated differently that they are to contact the us department of education and the office of civil rights for the department of justice will then come in and prosecute the cases so while you’re worried about whether you have to apply with the virginia department of education’s requirements and the general assembly you still have to deal with the federal aspect of them that is to be a little bit more concerning than the state aspects of it so when i’m looking at regulation 544.2 they went ahead and put the language in there the use of restrooms and locker rooms you have to allow a student to use gender restrooms in locker room that the student identifies with however all students can ask for requests for accommodations for a single use restroom currently this is how we handle situations of the transgender students or individuals that have problems you come to the administrative school and we talk through what you need to do and what bathroom you can use on this so the same situation will be used for students that i’m not comfortable going into a bathroom because there might be a student that’s transgender then you talk to your administrator what bathroom can you use how can we accommodate you that is how we’ve handled all the transgender students so far so if you are not comfortable with that situation talk with the administrator the menstrual supplies again i plan this is not actually part of the model guidelines this was a separate statute that was put through some of you remember we had individuals came to us a couple years ago talking about the need to put these supplies in our schools and they initially did their free they then went to the general assembly and had that put in as a law so we now have to provide the menstrual supplies for them we had not had that in a in a policy before so we went ahead and put that in policy it made sense because i’ve never had a policy on restrooms before so we’ve gone ahead and put that here the notice that is we now do have to put them in both men’s and girls and boys bathrooms so depending whatever your gender is if you need them they’re in those bathrooms at the middle of high school i’m not really going to address what boys might do with these medical supplies in there i don’t know that that’s a big concern for us but there are that is a state statute that requires us to do that at the elementary school we do not necessarily put them in the bathrooms you need to come to a nurse or an administrator and they will provide those for you and again the rules of non-discrimination and harassment the restrooms and bathrooms they’re also stated here i will remind people that it is still a violation of policy and law to sexually harass assault anyone in a bathroom or any other location so the fact that we allow you in that does not allow you to sexually cross anyone moving on to 650 this has to do with field trips class curriculum and extracurricular activities again they required us to specifically address trips and overnight trips um this was a complicated one for us to look at we had to spend some time thinking about this one basically we had to make sure that starting with the trip sponsor if you’re going to do a trip that involves overnight or going somewhere where you need to have changing facilities you as a trip sponsor need to put a lot of time into thinking ahead of time let the student the families know what’s going to happen what the arrangements are and then you talk through the process we do this this happens occasionally i’ve been involved in some of these cases before so we talk to the students and the families and figure out the best situation for that we’re not going to force a student into a room with someone the student doesn’t want to be with we will talk with the students we will work it out one of the requirements is that we cannot then force anybody’s transgender to be in a room by themselves we can offer that option but we cannot force them to be in the room so that is something where we spelled out more regulations that the sponsors need to think more about it while looking at this particular policy we noted there are other things to make students feel included in them we need to consider things the health disability issues that have to evolve so those were added to this particular regulation again the trick to this i really think is going to be the trip sponsors thinking through it planning out and then working with the students and the families to find the appropriate accommodations for the students again i’m going to get back to real quick as i mentioned form 544 again this is 544 although it is a local pile of your policy in there it’s based very much on the federal regulation the usda regulations coming in under title ix you are still subject to this and again this is not something that’s optional for you the u.s department of education has made it very clear the u.s department of justice has made it fair the president’s office has made it very clear that they are going to take this seriously and again the federal law says sex includes sexual orientation and gender identity we are still subject to the federal law and i honestly think that is probably your biggest area of concern in 544.1 this is just our regulations to talk about you can’t sexually harass someone you can’t sexual violence inappropriate sexual conduct none of that is tolerated so the fact that we allow you into bath and still means you cannot sexually harass anybody as mentioned before student dress code 541 had to be neutral you already adopted that june 8th that is consistent with the virginia department of education model guidelines again stressing for the u.
s department of education has put out executive order again very strict language on what is required for sexual orientation gender identities the federal government is going to come in here and make sure that you comply with that and again i cited the message the recent message as recently as last week they put out language involving this again so we’re back to what has to be addressed you have to have the non-discrimination anti bullying policies we’ve had them in place um not really clear why the the general assembly thought you had to reiterate it again but they did so that’s what we’ve done we’ve made sure we’ve cleaned up our policies you will see the council school attorneys for the virginia schools board associations had long discussions on these particular issues i knew the initial guidance for many of the school divisions was to simply cite to the model guidelines and not put the language in there on july 30th of 2021 james lane the state superintendent made it very clear what their position was on the department of education that citing to the statute itself or the model guidelines was not adequate you actually had to adopt policies on that and that you would have to assume liability and just to declare u.s department of education has put out nelson civil rights a lot of language that goes out and flyers have been sent out to most students in the area that have to do with transgender rights so both the federal government and the virginia department of education are putting this information out there so when looking at it our best recommendation for you was to not do what originally many of the school divisions did was to simply cite the statute we attempted to find a mid-ground which was developed add those things that had not been addressed in a regulation we have not adopted word for word what’s in the model guidelines you’ve heard concerns about the child abuse reporting i i was concerned about that myself but we are not initially going to report someone for child abuse and we did not adopt that particular statute you are still mandated reporter so when the situation warrants it we do have to make that call but we’re not automatically going to assume because the student wants a different name or gender identity that that means it’s child protective services regulation the child protective services regulations are triggered we did not put that in there again we are not automatically going to say because a student said they wanted to do something that we were going to override the parents rights clearly we have the student as a parent a legal guardian and students of mine that we are going to work with that family the best we can this is a procedure we’ve done for decade after decade we know how to do this procedure i simply can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be because every student is different so you allow your school counselors your administrators to work with your students we thought that was the best way i don’t think the regulations in any way would deal with overriding a parent’s legal rights we’re very conscious of that and i can assure you every situation i’m aware of where the administrator is not sure they contact my office and we make sure that they’re consistent with the legal rights so this time the recommendation for you is to put the policy out there 5-7 and allow the regulations to be developed as appropriate we’ve suggested what the regulations are going to be the reason we did regulations is simply because many of these things are not typically things that we see in policy they’re very detailed issues so we went ahead and put them in regulations on there that is about my best advice for you right now as to what the status of the law is again i would not want to get into conversation with you on particular litigation without going to close session if we need to go to closed session i would want to involve administrators but i can answer general questions about the status of the law at this time all right we’ll start with mrs anderson thank you mrs linetti so two things i’d like to say first of all i think we can’t overemphasize enough we heard parent after parent after parent worried about us taking over their rights you know deciding for their children and and and so this in in the regulation that basically states that the parents if the child if the student is under 18 it’s the parents who request in writing and you know the only thing i could state is that is that to fix that because i think people were worried that you know how teenagers become sophisticated and they they cheat and they they wanna they they learn to write their parents signature so i think maybe we could say that the parents would need to bring that with with them to the to have you know a conference with with the administration or counselors um mrs anderson we deal with falsified parents all the time i know i think they’re pretty able to deal with that so but you know i think people were concerned that that these some teenagers you know maybe be able to falsify their parents signature and to be able to do that but but basically it states that the parents have to re put it in writing and they have to request these uh if a student wanted to want to be called a different name or wanted to use a restroom differently or whatever so they were concerned about that and then the other thing is um i lost my train of thought oh if regulation if this regulation has changed substantially would it come back for the board to look at because i know it’s stated that if a regular the board actually can veto a regulation the board can do that if they if they so choose if you request um there are only certain types of regulations that are required for the board to do student discipline you saw some of those earlier that has to be dealt with by the board otherwise the normal processes when a superintendent pat your superintendent passes a regulation they he informs you what it is at that point you would then have the opportunity to bring it back to the board and bring it up but normally you don’t approve most regulations i realize that but i was just wondering if if if there was substantial changes would we be able to have a say in this dr spence do you want to answer that what i think the board already has a saying in terms of the conversation we’re having right now and um if the board decides it wants to approve regulation on this issue i suppose gammy there’s nothing that would prevent you from doing it right okay thank you mrs briggs then mrs hughes i says yes so miss linetti spent quite a lot of time on the grim case but there are also a few other cases um that lynchburg circuit court case where the judge said threw it out because there was no injury that actually was that they had no standing i mean if i did something to you she can’t sue for it so that’s that’s why that was thrown at us not that they’re it was that the people who brought it had no injury also in that same case what they said was there’s no enforcement mechanism in this so if you do it you do it if you don’t you don’t um also the tanner cross case was not brought up and this is where the teacher was disciplined for not using the requested pronouns and that was turned around and the mana hoy case where the supreme court said that parental powers were kind of the number one thing with with kids i don’t see anything in writing that says parents have the ultimate say in these issues and there should be for anyone that’s a minor um so so many things here um it’s also problematic that we did have people come in and decide that anyone that disagrees apparently it’s hate speech or you’re homophobic or transphobic that’s actually not true i have several gay female friends i have no problem sharing a restroom with them i would not in a million years share a restroom with my husband i do not believe that because someone is gay or transgender they’re more likely to be a predator i don’t believe that either i’m just not comfortable and i’m curious what about the rights of children who may be uncomfortable sharing a restroom with someone who is of a different biological sex i don’t know another way to put it i know that says don’t call it that but i think we kind of have a shared definition of that but what about those people’s rights do we have an answer for them i believe the grim case answers that for the fourth circuit so they just don’t have any grim case said that the protected class is transgender it doesn’t say that well i guess when the conscious gender has any more rights well i don’t think anyone should have more rights i mean i i personally don’t believe in protected classes i don’t think anybody should be bullied and based on the emphasis being placed on this i’m wondering why is it we’re doing such a poor job of this that we need a bullying policy on top of our bullying policy i don’t think any child should be bullied the answer that i will tell you that most of us thought most attorneys that passed in there thought the same thing what is wrong with the policies we have in place by the time this came out we all had to adopt the title ix procedures which is your 544 which clearly covered this category we were it was not clear to us why the general assembly told us we had to do it again on there so you know that’s why we admitted this particular policies because we felt that fell into your policy but you’ve already had bullying policy you’ve had title ix procedures in much of this was already incorporated and again that was a lot of the comments that you saw into the regulations we weren’t clear why the general assembly was requiring us to do this but some of those things are very specifically in the statute and i’m assuming that’s why vdoe did it okay mrs manning and miss owens and mrs holtz okay so back to the regulation topic because that’s something that we heard from people on both sides of views on on this this regulation can be changed at any time what’s been presented to us isn’t necessarily what is going to be the final product and i i don’t think that putting it into regulation is the right thing to do i think this is a very important big topic if a regulation if it’s a regulation it can be changed without the public even knowing correct like it wouldn’t be brought to a meeting no regulations do have to go on the it’ll be on the website but the public’s not going to be notified if there are changes that are made um our school board bylaws 1-31 says the power to enact policy cannot be delegated to an employee or agent such as the superintendent um and while i think you’re getting around this by saying well this is a policy and we’re going to implement regulation i think that it goes against the spirit of the bylaw that the school board is relegating its policy-making um job to the superintendent and you know it may not be always be dr spence so a another superintendent could have their own regulations and the public would not know so um but i wanted to address the um the pronoun thing because it was stated that a parent would have to sign off on that that’s not what it the that’s not what the regulations state the regulation specifically says in accordance with this subsection meaning the gender pronouns um let’s see students will be allowed to use a name and gender pronoun that reflects their gender identity without substantiating evidence and there’s no parental requirement or approval mentioned number two at the written request of the student or parent of a minor student use the name and pronoun that corresponds to the students or parents request so the parent does not have to be informed have to have approval um and then this was referenced by one of our speakers tonight in the situation when parents of a minor student do not agree with a minor student’s request to adopt the name the student and parent will work with school administrators the parent will will work with school administrators to determine how to address the student’s needs so we as a governing body here or the superintendent whoever is doing this is telling a parent in in these documents that they will work with the school administration to address their child’s situation this goes against the constitution it goes against parental rights um i have a huge huge problem with that section um and um another concern that i have is we say that the pronouns that will be recognized are he she and they well we heard from one speaker that there are a lot of other pronouns that people want to use um using the term they for an individual person is grammatically incorrect so how’s an english teacher going to deal with that um this is me and i can address i did speak to student support services and they said the three major groups that they were working with all agree that they is an appropriate pronoun because my concern is i can list probably about 50 different pronouns and and they suggested that’s where that recommendation came is that the most the three major groups that they have worked with in advising believe that they would be an appropriate pronoun so we picked a pronoun just because i didn’t want to be in a situation we had 50 or 60 different pronouns we had to deal with yeah and i understand that but um but on that topic in in ms hughes referenced the tanner cross case um if an employee or a student does not believe based upon their religious convictions that there are more than two genders and they refuse to use the pronoun they could the student or employee be charged with discrimination and harassment there are a bunch of cases right now going around in the country there was one case i guess i believe is that the individual based upon what we are writing here these regulations well i would say right you take a look at it um if the school this is three school personnel students who are not informed of the requested name and gender pronoun the school administration will not be found discriminated against them so if we didn’t tell them and you use it the next one is inadvertent or mistaken use of a student’s preferred name or gender pronoun will not be constitute discrimination or harassment if the school administration determines there’s no ill will or attention discriminate and that’s normally under our discrimination policies or procedures for that and we use leopards made to inform the person not using of the preferred name and pronoun and the compliance with regulation-related policies is required um so we try to build something in there that if you inadvertently use it if you were not doing it deliberately much like an elementary school kid there’s a case out there an elementary school kid referred to a teacher by a pronoun the teacher chose not to um at that case it was deter in that particular case it was term violation but we would not necessarily determine that a violation the student wasn’t doing it to be discriminatory we wouldn’t discipline the student but if a person had a religious conviction that they felt that there were only two genders and they refused to use the pronoun they could they be charged under these regulations could they be charged with discrimination and harassment it would fall under the title ix procedures and we’d have to go through the title ix analysis for it because that’s how federal law requires us to use title ix so it could it could not be again i think we would attempt to work with the student is there the person is there another way you can address the students but they could be of course because title requires that all right so they could be charged with discrimination or harassment if they have a religious conviction um and then you know one general question that i have is do we have open urinals in the boys bathrooms now i don’t go into boy’s bathroom so i do know if you look in the grim case they actually talk about this issue that would be unlikely that a transgender student would use a male transgender student going into a biologically male student using a female bathroom they’re only going to be closed dolls a biologically female student using male bathrooms is probably not going to be able to stand up and use a urinal so we’d probably be using the stalls there’s a long explanation of this and they can still come in and say i’m just i’m just trying to understand do we have open urls i’m assuming we do okay okay all right i’ll let someone else go miss owens and mrs holtz yeah miss owens go ahead actually uh ms manning kind of addressed some of the questions that i wanted to have addressed but i will um kind of re-clarify um the model policies um the way that i read them do not say um that a parent request is required i did read it to say the student or parent um and so i wanted to make sure that the policy that we are passing is as comprehensive as the model policy as is required um and so i wanted to clarify that we are not going to put an additional barrier that is not set forth in the uh model policies as written this is owns the way i will address that is just sitting in syria for me if you came to me and i had a parent who is a legal guardian of a minor child and refused this i understand what the regulations say on there but i also run into what the legal rights of the parent are so we would really have to work through that individual situation we have had this before where sometimes we can reach a compromise the family will agree how to handle it on there but in the end we’re probably going to have to look at the legal rights i think what the virginia department of education has maturely said is if you’re not sure talk to your school attorney so again that was one of the areas we a lot of school attorneys had an issue with was some of the requirements don’t necessarily match up with how we would legally analyze something oh and i do understand that if you’re saying if a parent comes to the school or approaches the school and says i don’t want something and the student is saying i do want something then that’s something that the school will want to try and work through with the parent and student but if a student comes to the school and says i would like to be called by this name or by this pronoun are we setting up an additional barrier that we’re telling the student that they now need to get something in writing by a parent that their word is not enough of a request to be called by something i’m not sure how best to analyze that i will say the model guidance suggested a student came to you and said that i don’t know we don’t have situations where right now where we have families filling out refer to my child as he or she i know no situation where we send something home to say family what bathroom do you want your child to use so the student came to us and said i wanted to use i’m going to use the girl’s bathroom in this case they don’t have to ask us that we wouldn’t object to them doing that so at some point and i don’t know of any obligation for us to call the parents do you know your students using the female bathroom if there are no incidences of it so it would have to be the parent came to us on there we frequently use nicknames you’ve heard that on their legal requirements your legal documents must be you must register under the name that you is on your birth certificate or whatever your legal document adoption papers are a lot of times many students have nicknames that are different on there and we have a category under our our online student system that allows us to put nicknames in there it’s not really necessary for a lot of things because you’re using the student identifier for a lot of required documents on there so again if you wanted if i want to be called cammy instead of camelot we would adopt me cammy again i don’t know we don’t currently have an obligation that we have a parent say this is what you have to call my child that’s not it’s not in our policies right now our regulations okay so hopefully um by the time we vote on that that’ll be um really clear that because if you would like to be called cami we’re not going to make you get a written note by your um parent that we’re not going to make any other students do something like that if they have a nickname or another name that they would like to go by um the other question that i have is about um the part of the policy where it says that if a teacher or somebody is not using the correct pronoun that um if it’s considered to be not deliberate then um no actions will be taken uh can you talk a little bit about who the deciding factor is about whether something is deliberate or whether they have been advised and continue not to do so is that individual principles are we talking about one specific person in ahr who will have consistent oversight over those issues likely if it is involving a transgender student because the sexual orientation gender identity fall under the classification of sex which is filed under protected under title ix it is you’re going to have to go through the title ix procedures now i said some of that to you last fall when we adopted it there is a title ix coordinator and there there are designated people the school that do the investigation there are specific procedures that we go through so you would go through and determine whether it was a title ix violation and then you would follow those procedures if it doesn’t meet the title nine requirements you would look at your our normal and harassment discrimination the five seven policies and the code of student conduct and then if it was an employee that was discriminated against a student and we believe it was deliberate then the principal or administrator would then follow the normal procedures into investigating it that’s no different than we always do okay so it would be the title ix designated person not just a uh an individual administrator uh individual principals at different schools you will work for the title some things do not mean title nine which then falls back to your normal code of student conduct and your normal anti-discrimination policies and the procedures are all the same as they’ve always been okay and then the very last thing um there’s been a lot of discussion about policy versus regulation i would be more than happy for this to just be passed through as policy i’m not necessarily opposed to it coming through as regulation but um is there a reason specifically why we would not do it as a policy obviously with you when i looked at this i said there are going to be a lot of problems a lot of this is going to have to be fleshed out and i fully anticipated that there were going to be different parts that are going to come into clarification with time policies tend to be more overriding so we found if we did the policies there and we spread them out to be doing some school districts i believe like chesterfield just just outright adopted the model guidance which to us does not look like a policy we chose not to do that we put it into the different policies of regulations where we thought it was appropriate i felt by putting in regulations it would give us more time for the superintendent and his staff to work with them as those issues developed eventually you know we might look at equity council might get involved in some of the student areas and i fully expect that you’re going to see more guidance the next couple years is how to handle some of these issues and it just made more sense for us to spread it out over various policies and regulations you could put it in a policy if you wanted to it just seemed more complicated that way to us to do okay um and i hear you referring it to um referring to it as the model guidance i haven’t seen it like written anywhere as the model guidance i’ve only seen it written as a model policy um is there somewhere else where it’s being called the model guidance i’d have to go back and look for why we’re using that language i mean i know we’re not going to vote today thank you okay mrs holtz oh thank you of all of the all of the slides and the documents that have been presented tonight there were certain ones that really stuck out at me and one of them particularly was schools have had transgender students for many years and they have had some level of protection but this recommendation just gives them another level that they have been denied for so many years and we have found that the biggest opponents were not the students but the adults we heard that tonight we had one man came come up and say can i be a girl for today that is really trivializing the pain of some of these students and one of the people that spoke most eloquently here tonight was a young girl from the governor’s school i am so proud of her and i will be writing her tomorrow and thanking her also uh there’s no data that says that we’re going to have transgenders people that are peeping toms they want to see what you got uh there’s no evidence that says somebody’s going to pretend they’re transgender just transgender just to sneak in there there’s none of that it’s hypothetical it’s a myth but people have been saying this for a long time and the people that don’t support this are also promoting this kind of a myth that just isn’t true also there are stall i’ve been in many many schools there’s stalls in every bathroom these transgender kids do not want to be noticed they’re not out there parading all they want to do is pee like everybody they go into a stall i mean why are we making a big fuss out of that and as far as urinals i don’t think a transgender male is going to be using a urinal amen to that so i definitely support this because all of the the confrontations and the arguments that we’ve heard tonight to me say these parents don’t truly understand what it means to be a transgender so i will be going for this the hour is late but um mrs lynette if you could just share briefly with say in the past decade as these have been treated on a case-by-case basis generally would it involve the has parents coming into the school to to have a joint discussion i mean the way a parent and teacher get together with staff to discuss my kid is struggling in algebra is is that i assume the ones that i’m involved in do because it has come to an administrator’s attention and will not sure what to handle i’m assuming that they’re other ones that they’ve worked it out at the school level um but i’m just saying these aren’t dealt with through written notes this is a subject that’s elevated enough that typically and i know you used the word consultation which seemed to trigger you know some concern and i was just assuming like i said it’s always family and school working together on whatever the issue and is this is isn’t that what we’re talking about here that the family would always be consulted and come in and talk about it that student has the opportunity to receive the educational services sometimes the student wants something and the family doesn’t and sometimes we can work out a compromise the family understands that yeah but i’m just asking would that typically be everybody together in person the ones that i’ve been involved in yes we’ve had the parent legal guardian have sat down with the ministry whether we use the word consultation or whatever it’s just bringing in the family to discuss this very important situation involving their child with the child and the staff like i said the way we would with any other important issue and i just wanted clarity on that that that’s essentially what we’ve been doing and what we would continue to do that is my understanding the cases we’ve been involved in and when i’ve talked to the administrators doing this they’ve work very hard to make sure the student feels comfortable and we’re working within the legal rights of the family so now obviously this is a little different because now we’re talking about introducing as somebody said an added layer of protection but i just wanted to get that point straight so thank you mrs franklin and then mrs riggs so i have actually spoken to so many people on both sides of this opinion and the one thing that i would like to just say for the record is that um you know someone had said to me you are so lucky to serve on the virginia beach public school board and you know we do serve the public and that means all kids and i certainly think that we have to also whether we agree with the lifestyle or the choices or whatever we do have to be considerate of the transgender population as well and um you know and i i certainly think that you know in my personal opinion i don’t i’m not worried about pronouns or nor or those type of things i think that that is just you know those are semantics um and i also don’t believe that it is uh you know it is more likely that they will probably be a more uh in in danger than a cisgender student um being in danger in this situation the only thing that i don’t like about this policy is that it does you know i’ve heard um tonight and i want you to clarify dr spence if that would be okay i j i want you to clarify um because i absolutely i want to make sure that they have protection i really do um but when i hear other parents or students saying that you know that the the cisgender student is going to then have to go to an alternative area if um if they’re not comfortable then how is that different than alienating you know one side of the population versus the other i i feel like then then that you create a situation where you know because um i think someone had said that they would have to go to the nurse’s office then or or go to an alternate area um and then that just creates an issue for the cisgender where they might not be close to the nurses office and and so i i just want to be very careful that we don’t alienate one group over another um and that is where my concern lines it’s it i’ve really in terms of the protecting the transgender students i have no problem with that i really don’t um it’s just how do we create a situation where we’re not alienating one group over the other um and making them feel like they’re that their opinions or feelings comfort level is not as important so i guess that would be my are we prepared first of all to have however many i don’t know how you know we i guess we can’t really guesstimate until this act actually happens but are we prepared to have all of these students start utilizing the staff restrooms and to do all that um are we you know i’m just curious about implementation i guess is how do we how do we create this policy and implement the policy in a way that we um are not overwhelmed by the requests and then also not alienating one group over another so i mean relative to the sort of being overwhelmed by the requests i mean i think as has been stated over and over again that’s just been something that’s um we have transgender students no i’m sorry can i clarify not the requests by the transgender student because because if we put the policy in place then they won’t have to request anything um i’m referring to the policy from the cisgender students where they might not feel comfortable because there might be a larger population of those frankly i can’t predict that i i mean we’ll we’ll deal with those requests as they arise uh and i think to the level of comfort i mean i think it’s sort of a an equally applied policy which says anybody who has a discomfort and would prefer privacy in a restroom has the opportunity to request that from administration so that would apply to any and all students and so if somebody’s not comfortable then they have that opportunity but the functional reality again is you know we have transgender students in our in our schools and we have for a long time right and and again just through the case studies though that believe me i i stayed up till midnight last night reading through the grim case study and through the transgender policy so but i guess what i’m referring to is that you know it frequently was noted that the transgender students do have issues you know urinary tract infections or different you know physical issues because they might not be close to a restroom that they feel comfortable with and then they’ll you know then they’ll not use the restroom and have issues with that and so my concern is then let’s flip it and then if we have a cisgender standard that is not comfortable how do we create that situation from not arising on the flip side of that i guess you see what i mean frankly i can address that we don’t keep transgender students out of the bathroom they identify with right now we they’re they’re allowed to use the bathroom they identify with if they don’t want to use that they want another situation we work with them they’re currently allowed to use them because we’ve had the protections in there so this is currently i think that’s what dr spence is trying to tell this is currently happening and we don’t have a flood of cisgender students coming and saying oh my gosh i can’t be in there we do currently allow students to use the bathroom that they’ve already um i don’t know how much more this will come out at this point on there but again this is a reality for us that we’ve dealt with for decades and we don’t have a lot i’m not aware of a lot of complaints where students say oh my gosh i can’t be in the bathroom i think that that is that has probably to be noted because um i you know this seems like a new policy that something that we you know need to be implementing and um you know if this is something we already have experience with and we already have um statistics and we also you know then then that probably should be noted so that the publisher we don’t i don’t know that we keep statistics well no no i’m sorry but we have we have a history i should say once you amended the policy i mean i know we were doing it individually before but when you amended the policy in 2016 for sexual orientation and gender identity you committed at that time that you weren’t going to treat them differently so i’m not aware of a situation where we said you cannot go into a bathroom because your genitalia looks a certain way um i don’t know if this will create more out of that clearly the grim case has been going back and forth for a number of years so i’m not sure you’re going to see a flood but you might i just we don’t know how to answer that uh miss are you done miss franken okay we have mrs riggs okay i think everybody has expressed their feelings about it i think we need to look at the clock we’ve decided that making decisions at these late hours are really not the time to do it so i want to make a motion and i’ll i’ll read the motion it appears that mrs manny mrs hughes and i’m glad you brought it up are calling our bylaw procedure um and therefore we can’t vote on it tonight okay so this we’re not going to vote on it so i move that the school board place policy 57 on the action section of the agenda on the next regularly scheduled school board meeting for our vote are we okay with that no i just well i just wanted to make sure we said it you know we made a motion for any second okay i’d like to go ahead and end this we’ve we’ve said everything we cannot say any more tonight it’s going to change anything well and i well i wanted to ask because people there’s more for colleagues to contemplate which staff and i think we know but if we can confirm which staff are available for follow-up questions from colleagues following tonight so i mean can we i know dr robertson has been working with the regulations i know mr jameson has experience with the students that have come to us some of those who can talk to you about the procedures i’m sure the docile staff has considered my experience with this area too but but who will feed i mean i typically like board members wouldn’t call mr jameson directly we should work through what you and dr and uh if you’ve got questions we’ll get answers to your questions okay was it a question about this or yeah i just had a quick suggestion but go ahead okay um just uh i i’d really like for the public since since this has has all changed in what’s happening i’d really like the public to be informed that we’ll be voting into or at our next meeting so if we could have could media and communications put something out to the media of you know because people are going to be expecting that they wake up tomorrow that that they’re going to see a vote and they’re not going to so if we could i already got a notification from three three different stations that we’re not voting on that we’re not voting tonight oh okay mrs melnick now since we sat down eight hours ago we have teachers that are waiting school starts in 16 days wait a minute i’m sorry promotion on the floor with the second i asked you first and you gave it to her but please speak please i gave up my speech please go ahead please proceed i don’t understand why we’re putting this off we had over 50 people here tonight to give their opinion we’ve had a very long demonstration in powerpoint nothing new is going to happen in a week it’s only gonna we’re gonna have another angry crowd in the parking lot again and nothing is going to change and nothing will happen for transgender students i’m really sorry about this there’s there’s nothing that’s going to happen within two weeks that’s going to make any difference in the presentations that we’ve gotten i think we’ve heard from the public it was the bylaw matter yeah because i brought up the motion let me explain that definitely there is a concern with our bylaw so we ca we cannot legally with the bylaw with the concern and the roberts rules of order we cannot vote on it tonight without being out of water so that is why i made the motion um i think it would be we yes we did hear from everybody and we heard from each other we discussed it but to vote now after it has been brought up and explained that it’s it’s a bi we’re going against the bylaw and we’re you know we’re not going by procedure which we have decided to do and we tried to do and everything we make a decision on that’s why i said that that is why i made the motion i’ll be quick oh okay so mrs manning yeah i just i want to quell this there’s an angry mob outside i don’t know where that came from i spoke to my pastor who was outside when i was on break i spoke to him and um he said there were a lot of people out there i said were people angry were people being mean he said not that i saw and he was out there for a while so i i i think that there’s only one narrative being played here that’s not true and were you out there no that is so let’s let’s not let’s not be saying that the whole crowd of people out there there were pastors there were church people out there from just here to be heard and be present they didn’t know they couldn’t come into the building and so let’s just just stop that narrative so going back to mrs riggs this will be on as an action item on september i believe is it the 14th yes okay it was bad so i i’m ready to take the vote i would like to you need to vote on it all in favor raised hand please you already spoke i i’m sorry didn’t know before this please yes i mean i just wanted to say to answer the question that’s how we do policies it’s policy review committee and then information and then we vote the next i mean that that happens with every policy some policies the changes seem rather benign some are emotional but i mean that’s that’s just the way we do it and we already we’re going to put it on the agenda for next time because that’s the normal flow of it right this is not unusual but since there was a request for a vote we’ll do the vote so we can adjourn raised hand please for action item next meeting ms owens how do you vote thank you and we do have a pending question once the clerk has tallied the votes so we have nine eyes and all opposed and we have one day and one non-vote because um miss williams is not online thank you all right okay so dr spence eight hours ago we sat down we start school in 16 days but our next meeting is 21 days from today and we have had teachers patiently waiting for hours to find out if somebody could give at least a little bit of information about what we do if we are exposed at work and what will happen with leave and how will that be taken care of can somebody at least give a general yes update here’s what i can tell you we’re working on finalizing our recommendation that is a budget issue in addition to uh human resources leave issue i think we’ll have that settled up by early next week and we’ll communicate that out to staff as soon as we do and to the board thank you they waited patiently for that thank you i understand okay this meeting is adjourned uh madam chair we still have non-agenda speakers i’m sorry they deferred it you