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Hanover school board discusses code of conduct changes, transgender policy

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 11:39 PM EDT
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HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - Those waiting on the Hanover County school board to vote on changes to the student code of conduct or take action on its transgender policy, will have to wait at least another month.

Tuesday, the board talked about a transgender policy during a closed session at the 6 p.m meeting in addition to the lawsuit they’re facing from the ACLU for not passing the state-required policy.

“Don’t allow outside groups to dictate our community policy,” a public speaker said.

“Why does it matter what a child’s body looks like or how they identify themselves,” another speaker said.

But despite public speakers expressing their concerns for and against passing a transgender policy, the board didn’t specifically address what was discussed privately during the closed session; only addressing the subject once publicly at the beginning of the meeting.

“We want to publicly acknowledge that we value all input from our constituents regarding this and all other topics that are before the school board, Board District Chair Ola Hawkins said.

Also on the agenda was changed to the student code of conduct to explicitly prohibit protests and walkouts.

As it stands, the school district defines Disruptive Behavior as a violation of School Board policies or regulations governing student conduct that interrupts or obstructs the learning environment, but it doesn’t explicitly spell out protesting or walkouts which the new policy would specifically prohibit.

The new code of conduct would also introduce a definition for self-defense.

But the board said the two code of conduct issues presented were only up for discussion and they wouldn’t vote on anything until its next meeting in June.

The board did approve a $217 million operating budget for the upcoming school year, but that will also need approval from the state.

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