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Conservative commentator rents home in Loudoun County so he can speak at school board meeting

LCPS changed public comment rules, only allowing residents, business owners, and LCPS students, parents or staff to speak at meetings.

ASHBURN, Va. — Multiple protests against the policy on transgender students are scheduled before the Loudoun County Public Schools board meeting Tuesday, where rules for public comment have changed.

From now on, speakers will have to prove they're a resident of the county, own a business there, or be a student, parent, or staff member at LCPS.

“The School Board is making these changes in order to ensure that the voices of our parents and the LCPS community are heard rather than out-of-town agitators who would make Board meetings a platform for national politics or to enhance their own media profiles,” said School Board Chair Brenda L. Sheridan. 

In the past, board meetings have gotten heated, even leading to arrests at one point and one teacher quitting in front of the board.

"School board, I quit. I quit your policies. I quit your trainings, and I quit being a cog in a machine that tells me to push highly politicized agendas on our most vulnerable constituents, our children," former teacher, Laura Morris said.

RELATED: Loudoun County teacher quits at contentious school board meeting, citing Christian values

RELATED: 2 men detained at LCPS board meeting discussing pronoun use when addressing transgender students

One commentator for the conservative news website The Daily Wire, Matt Walsh, had been planning to attend. So -- he announced on Twitter that he decided to become a local and rent a home in Loudoun County.

Walsh said that he will now be speaking at Tuesday's board meeting and hosting a rally beforehand at 4 p.m., protesting the policy that requires teachers to address transgender students by the pronouns they identify with.

At the same time – the Alliance for Defending Freedom (ADF) will be holding a similar protest for their clients.

The ADF has filed a lawsuit against the board on behalf of teachers Monica Gill, Kimberly Wright, and Tanner Cross. Cross made national headlines in the summer when he spoke out against the policy on transgender students. He was suspended and then reinstated.

School systems are required to instate some kind of policy protecting the rights of students who are transgender under a newly passed Virginia law -- which all but two LCPS board members agreed with.

"I do care about equity for all schoolchildren, and I believe if we protect transgender students and students of color, we protect all students, so we can make sure we have equity in our schools without taking anything away from anyone else," LCPS parent Charlotte McConnell said at a previous rally in support of the policy.

Anyone speaking at Tuesday night's meeting will have to provide proof that they meet the new requirements. LCPS shared the following list of means of identification:

  • A valid Virginia driver’s license indicating Loudoun County residency
  • A utility bill from 2021 with the resident’s name and a Loudoun County address
  • A mortgage or rental lease agreement displaying the resident’s name and current street address of residency or business
  • A current Employee ID or Student ID
  • An email or letter from Loudoun County Public Schools to the parent from the 2021-22 school year regarding a currently enrolled LCPS student
  • A student report card or progress report

The school board meeting begins at 5 p.m.

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