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Portsmouth Public Schools creates change with adoption of VA transgender policy

Portsmouth Public School board recently voted in favor of the school adopting the Virginia transgender policy, which will implement new changes to the schools.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Change is coming to Portsmouth Public Schools when it comes to LGBTQ acceptance.

The board recently voted in favor of adopting Virginia's Transgender policy, which calls for gender-neutral bathrooms, educational topic inclusivity and programs to help transgender students. Board member Claude Parent voted against the change. He said while he respects the transgender community, he voted no due to religious and personal reasons. 

“We will always remain on the right side of history, especially when it comes to this issue," said school board chairman, Cardell Patillo. "I really feel like the major impact is going to feel assurance...reassurance that their child, no matter what gender, race, or ethnicity, will receive equal and fair treatment." 

This new direction comes in wake of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of transgender Gloucester County student, Gavin Grimm, who sued the school system over a bathroom-use dispute.

RELATED: Supreme Court won't revive Gloucester school's transgender bathroom ban

Patillo said they plan on implementing the changes right at the beginning of the new semester. However, he says they still need to discuss how these policies will be implemented.

"The major hurdle is going to be informing students of the new policy, making sure they're comfortable, and how will these policies be monitored," said Patillo.

Patillo said the next school board meeting will be in August when they hope to solidify the plans for the policies and answer any other questions before the start of the academic semester.

Author's Note: The video below is on file from Feb. 25, 2021.

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