A teacher dramatically quit her job in front of hundreds of people to protest an LGBT+ policy that asks for trans pupils to be called by their names.
Claiming that the trans-inclusive policy goes against her views as “a believer in Christ”, Laura Morris told a meeting of the school board in Loudoun County, Virginia, on 11 August that she had “struggled with the idea of returning to school” before resigning and urging others to do the same.
“Within the last year, I was told in one of my so-called equity trainings that white Christian able-bodied females currently have the power in our schools, and that quote, ‘this has to change’,” Morris said.
Crying, she continued: “You’ve made your point. You no longer value me, or many other teachers you’ve employed in this county. So since my contract outlines the power that you have over my employment in Loudon County Public Schools, I thought it necessary to resign in front of you.
“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 politicised agendas on our most vulnerable constituents – the children. I will find employment elsewhere. I encourage all parents and staff in this county to flood the private schools.”
Trans policy asks teachers to use trans student’s names
The new policy advises that schools should allow trans students to “use their chosen name and gender pronouns that reflect their consistently asserted gender identity” and asks teachers to use their name and pronouns, too.
Staff or students who “intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student […] by using the wrong name and gender pronoun” will be in violation of the policy, which also says that trans students should be able to play sports, use the bathroom, and take part in other gendered activities in accordance with their identity.
“All school mental health professionals shall complete training on topics relating to LGBTQ+ students, including procedures for preventing and responding to bullying, harassment and discrimination based on gender identity/expression,” the policy says.
It was passed by a school board vote on Wednesday (11 August) evening after remarks from dozens of emotional speakers. Parents who oppose the trans-inclusive policy and the guidance on teaching about race protested outside the school board meeting, leading to one person being arrested.
While parents of trans pupils and teachers at the school spoke in favour of the new policy, many with Christian beliefs opposed it.
Substitute teacher Emily Hart said that it would be a violation of her religious rights: “[It] would force teachers to act against their sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Rene Camp, parent of three, said she is a “Christian mom” and believes that God “created us male and female”.
“We respect everyone just as we should respect everybody,” Camp said, but added: “Now that boys and girls are allowed to mix bathrooms, my daughter might not be safe in any of those bathrooms.”