UPDATE: See full video of last night’s Fairfax County Public Schools meeting below. Also, superb job by Joshua Israel (former head of the Virginia Partisans Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club) a little while ago in Fairfax, especially given that the audience is filled with people who are clearly, vehemently opposed to this policy change. By the way, prior to Joshua Israel, a speaker actually claimed that this nondiscrimination ordinance could result in an increased suicide rate among transgender kids, as well more sex crimes by “predators.” These people have wayyyyy too much time on their hands, and clearly not enough access to accurate information, let’s just leave it at that.
UPDATE 6 am Friday: Joshua Israel writes on his Facebook page: “Very very proud to say that 10 of Fairfax’s 12 school board members voted tonight to add gender identity to the FCPS non-discrimination policy. Proud to say that I made it through my speech in support without breaking down, even though the room was mostly filled with screaming, angry, anti-LGBT activists.”
Also, House of Delegates Democratic candidate Joana Garcia writes: “Appalling behavior at the school board meeting tonight. From the woman out in the lobby who mumbled under her breath for the mom to ‘take your screaming kid outside why don’t ya’ to another who said ‘why not’ to the statement by a board member ‘we should not discriminate against anyone’. At least 5 people removed from the meeting due to disruptive behavior.”
Catherine Read writes: “People turned their backs on Ted Velkoff when he quoted scripture. Because . . . you know . . . that’s would Jesus would do. That woman in black commented and yelled throughout the meeting. Disrepectuful, ugly . . . this was like sitting with the extras from the movie ’42.'”
Sen. Adam Ebbin writes: “Hats off to Josh Israel for reasoned and eloquent testimony in support of Fairfax County Schools’ new policy against discrimination based on gender identity!”
UPDATE 9:07 pm: John Riley tweets, “Schultz motion to postpone fails 2-10.” Also: “McElveen: misinformation is that this policy will not change practices in #FCPS”; “Anti-side has older white men walking up and down aisles. Making hand signals to opponents in crowd. Lots of outbursts”; “Crowd boos McElveen for calling transgender rights ‘civil rights struggle of our generation.'”; “Moon: school administrators will meet with people who claim to be transgender and determine if genuine. Change not putting anyone at risk;” “McLaughlin decries misinformation. As of today, you thought your children were safe. They are and still will be. Garza already practicing it.”
FCPS Student Rep Harris LaTeef writes: “Thank you to the Fairfax County School Board for staying calm and professional even when others certainly were not this evening. I thank you and history will thank you.”
UPDATE 8:17 pm: Jarrod Nagurka tweets, “Shameful. Dan Stork just seconded motion to postpone inclusion of gender identity in Fairfax nondiscrimination policy.”
UPDATE 8:15 pm: John Riley of Metro Weekly magazine tweets: “Fredy Burgos, who opposed @EFillerCorn last election, says policy will undermine 1st Amendment rights of anti-trans students…Burgos decries heavy-handed federal government interfering in local schools. Talking about genital mutilation, HIV rates…Hispanics and blacks will be worst affected by policy. B/C they are largely Christians, Burgos calls #Policy1450 ‘racist.’ Standing ovation.”
UPDATE 8:06 pm: Democratic campaign manager Jarrod Nagurka, who is at the meeting, just wrote on Facebook, “Wow. I was just called a “gangster” and “racist” for supporting nondiscrimination policy. You can’t make this stuff up.” Jarrod also tweets, “Wow. Speaker claim nondiscrimination policy including gender identity is RACIST and would INCREASE black/hispanic dropout rates.” Uh huh.