PURCELLVILLE, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — High school students in Loudoun County, Virginia walked out on Wednesday in protest of their school district’s gender policy, which allows “transgender” and “non-binary” students to use the bathroom or locker room of their choosing.
The 50 to 100 students who participated in the walkout decried Loudoun County Public Schools’ (LCPS’s) Policy8040, implemented in 2021, as a violation of their privacy and safety, reported ABC WJLA.
A female student told the local outlet she has stopped using the school bathroom entirely because of anxiety, criticizing it as a “massive safety risk” that LCPS refuses to address.
“We express these concerns and they ignore us and write us off as right-wing crazies,” she said. “We’re not crazy. We just don’t want to be in danger on a daily basis in this building. I think it’s people finally stepping up and just being sick of it.”
“I stopped using [the bathrooms] because I don’t know what’s going to happen to me in there. And people can be like, ‘Oh, well, that’s paranoid’,” she continued.
“I’m telling you right now half the women in this building feel the same way,” she added. “We don’t use the bathrooms. We hold our pee until we can’t. I mean, there are girls in PE who still get changed in the bathroom stalls in there because they’re afraid of who might waltz in.”
A male student told WJLA that he is uncomfortable with the possibility that a biological female may be watching him as he changes after football practice.
“I feel that girls feel the same way about the situation. How would you feel if you were a female changing with a male?” he asked.
Another student believes “there are a lot of people who are scared to speak out against it” who “stayed inside because they don’t want to see the backlash.”
A smaller group of counter-protestors waved “LGBTQ pride” flags across the street as the students rallied, according to WJLA.
“I’m here to support all of the children,” one of the counter-protestors told the ABC affiliate. “No matter who they are. Yours, mine, all of them.”
LCPS told Fox News Digital that the gender policy is “currently under review, along with the new Model Policies, by the Student Services Committee.”
The Loudoun County school district has drawn heated criticism over its gender policy, particularly after its coverup of the rape of a teen girl by a skirt-wearing boy in a school bathroom was brought to light in 2021.
The former superintendent of Loudoun County Public Schools, Scott Ziegler, was found guilty in September of a misdemeanor for firing a teacher who told a grand jury about the district’s coverup of sexual abuse that is related to, but separate from the school’s coverup of a rape by a cross-dressing boy.
The conviction stems from Ziegler’s decision to fire former special education teacher Erin Brooks after she spoke with the grand jury impaneled by Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares to investigate the bathroom rape coverup. In her remarks, she also mentioned “an unrelated instance of mishandling of sexual assault by school administrators,” The Daily Wire reported.
The “unrelated” issue had to do with an intellectually disabled student who allegedly sexually assaulted Brooks and her teaching assistant, Laurie Vandermeulen, “dozens of times a day” by inappropriately touching them and making obscene gestures. According to the report, Brooks and Vandermeulen reached out to administrators for help and were advised to deal with the situation by shielding themselves with pieces of cardboard or “dog groomer aprons” to stave off the student’s physical assaults.
Though the student was removed from Brooks’ class after Vandermeulen asked for experiences to be anonymously shared during a school board meeting, the special education teacher reportedly “became the target of ruthless animus from school administrators,” culminating in being given a negative performance review and promptly fired.
The jury agreed that Ziegler had violated the law by firing Brooks for telling the grand jury about the situation.
Ziegler, who was himself indicted on separate charges and fired last year after a grand jury submitted its findings concerning LCPS’ handling of the transgender rape coverup, now faces up to a year in jail and/or $2,500 in fines for the Thursday conviction.
He is slated to face sentencing in January.