The Stafford County School Board on Tuesday voted 4-3 to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the district’s nondiscrimination policy.
“This is the result of years of advocacy by the Stafford community, (Equality Stafford), educators, students, alums and many others,” tweeted the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia after the vote.
The vote took place a month after a federal judge ruled in favor of Gavin Grimm, a former Gloucester County High School student who challenged the Gloucester County School District’s policy that prohibited students from using bathrooms and locker rooms that did not correspond with their “biological gender.” The Gloucester County School Board has appealed the decision.
“After how hard advocates in Prince William County had to relentlessly work to demonstrate that the second largest school in the state could protect all its students in an inclusive way, it’s so great to see that example has resonated across the commonwealth as more and more school districts realize that protecting all students is in the best interest of their school district,” state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) told the Washington Blade on Wednesday during a telephone interview.
Roem — the first openly transgender woman ever seated in a state legislature in the U.S. — represents the 13th District that includes Prince William County and Manassas Park in the Virginia House of Delegates. Roem told the Blade “inclusive nondiscrimination policies protect students and staff” and “make schools safer for everyone.”