Tensions boiled over Tuesday night at a Virginia school board meeting to discuss a new transgender policy, with one parent arrested and another ticketed for trespassing as the crowd got out of control. The public comment period at the Loudoun County Public Schools meeting had to be cut short after attendees refused to stop interrupting. Some parents reportedly shouted “Shame on you” and gave the finger, while others brought signs emblazoned with: “We the parents stand up” and “Education not indoctrination.” The meeting had been convened to discuss a draft policy on the treatment of transgender children, mandating that teachers use students’ preferred names and pronouns and let them use bathrooms that correspond to their identity.
But it wasn’t long before “loud public demonstrations violated the decorum of the meeting,” Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde Byard said. When attendees refused to pipe down, the board unanimously ruled to shut down the comment period and continue with a closed meeting. A spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office told The Washington Post that “several attendees refused to leave,” including a man who was ticketed for trespassing. Another man “displayed aggressive behavior towards another attendee,” then “physically resisted arrest” and was slapped with charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, authorities said. School Board Chair Brenda Sheridan said they “will not back down from fighting for the rights of our students and continuing our focus on equity.”