An eighth-grader in Virginia has criticized Loudoun County’s public schools for policies she says allow boys to use girls’ locker rooms, putting female students at risk.
Jolene Grover, 14, spoke at the school district board meeting Tuesday about proposed policy 8040. She was taken out of an LCPS school by her mother last year, Fox news reported.
‘Two years ago I was told that policy’ 1040 was just an overarching philosophy and you wouldn’t allow boys in the girls’ locker rooms. But here you do just that,” Grover said, wearing a shirt that read, “Woman is feminine.”
She continued, “Everyone knows what a boy is, even you. Your proposed policy is dangerous and rooted in sexism. When I woke up, kids asked me if I was a lesbian or a trans boy because I cut my hair short, and that should tell you that these modern identities are superficial.”
Jolene Grover, 14, spoke at the school district board meeting Tuesday to address the proposed policy
Grover, who is homeschooled, gave her speech to the school board. She was taken out of an LCPS school by her mother last year
A design of the proposed 8040 policy reads that “students should be able to use the facility that matches their gender identity,” while school district leaders are taking steps to make schools more inclusive for transgender students.
The new policy would follow on from a previous policy, numbered 1040, which is committed to making provincial schools safe and inclusive regardless of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity,” Fox News reported.
Grover further claimed in her speech that “boys read erotica in class next to girls.” She gave no further details on that claim.
“You want to give them access to girls’ locker rooms and you want to force girls to call those guys ‘she’,” the teen said in the speech.
“You’re doing this in the name of inclusivity and ignoring the girls who pay the price. Your policy favors the wishes of boys over the needs of girls.’
Grover told Fox News in an interview on Thursday that she feared the proposed rule would lead to girls being harassed and assaulted.
The teen’s comments come after Byron Tanner Cross, a PE teacher at Leesburg Elementary in the same school district, was suspended last month after giving an anti-policy speech.
Cross, who claimed the policy violated his religion, has since been ordered to be reinstated by a judge, who pointed to freedom of speech and religious freedom in his decision.
He argued over two public school board policies: one requiring teachers to use the pronouns a transgender child identifies with, and another allows transgender children to participate in sports with the gender they identify with.
Cross was suspended from Leesburg Elementary after speaking out at a school board meeting against policies that would confirm the identities of transgender students
The second also allows children to use the locker room and bathroom of the gender they identify with.
Cross said in his speech that the policies “contaminate the sacred image of God” and involve child abuse.
He also cited a recent 60 Minutes survey in which Leslie Stahl interviewed a number of young people who had switched, then regretted it and went back to their original gender, sometimes after surgery.
In his speech, Cross said: “My name is Tanner Cross and I speak out of love for those who suffer from gender dysphoria.
’60 Minutes recently interviewed more than 30 young people who were transitioning, but they felt led astray because of a lack of pushback or how easy it was to make physical changes in their bodies… They are now de- transition.
“I don’t mean to hurt anyone, but there are certain truths we have to face when we’re ready.
‘We condemn school policy’ [that] harm children, defile the holy image of God.
“I love all my students, but I will never lie to them, no matter the consequences.
“I am a teacher, but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa, because it is against my religion.
“It is lying to a child, it is abuse against a child and it is sinning against our God,” he said.
He was then suspended with about three weeks left of the school year and the school board said it was investigating his comments.
Cross is pictured with his wife. She said they were grateful for the support he received
Shawn Lacey, principal of Leesburg Elementary, sent an email to parents weeks ago saying that Cross had gone on leave.
Twelfth Circuit Judge James E. Plowman later ordered the school district to reinstate Cross’s job.
“Defendants will immediately reinstate the plaintiff in his position as he was before the issuance of his suspension and remove the prohibition imposed on him from all buildings and grounds of Loudoun County Public Schools,” a letter from Plowman read.
Cross had filed a restraining order and temporary injunction, demanding his job back and asking that his views not be censored again.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups have long championed the inclusion of transgender students in bathrooms and sports.
James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender & HIV Project, wrote a 2016 blog post titled ‘Anti-trans bathroom bills have nothing to do with privacy and everything to do with fear and hatred.’
“As a threshold issue, no one is proposing to let boys in girls’ bathrooms,” Esseks wrote.
“Preying on misinformation about transgender people and calling trans girls boys, proponents of these harmful measures argue against the fictional end of sex-segregated spaces.”
Esseks added: “But even beyond the absurd distortions being spread by state lawmakers across the country, these alleged privacy justifications for unconstitutional government discrimination are far from convincing. It does not infringe anyone’s rights to share public space with others who are different.’