(VA) Prince William School Chair Hand-Picks Supporters to Speak Prior to the Vote to Impose Transgender Policy


Contact: Delegate Bob Marshall 703-853-4213

Prince William School Chair Hand-Picks Supporters to Speak Prior to the Vote to Impose Transgender Policy


Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13) obtained text messages (see below) from Prince William School Board Chair Ryan Sawyers via FOIA request showing that Sawyers hand-picked speakers who apparently favor imposing a new transgender policy in Prince William Schools to speak prior to the School Board vote on that issue at their June 21st meeting.   Sawyers’ 14 speakers contacted him directly, instead of contacting the School Board Clerk who normally signs people up to speak via letter, phone or email.  


"It is my understanding that because of the Chairman’s direction to place his speakers at the beginning of the list, a majority of the opponents to Sawyers’ policy will not be allowed to speak until the end of the meeting after the School Board has already voted," said Marshall


A Legislative Services attorney advised Marshall today that the Prince William School Board’s own regulations (133-1) in sections B and E, provide that persons are to speak in the order in which they have put in their requests to speak.  Chairman Sawyers’ directive that his preferred list of supporters speak first, “cannot be given precedence over any speakers who signed up with the Clerk to speak before the submission by the chair.”


“I asked the PW School Board Clerk today whether Sawyers’ list was submitted after others had requested to speak.   The Clerk responded that other citizens had already signed up to speak prior to the Chairman’s submission.  Legal counsel further advised me that if the Board failed to follow its own regulations in adopting transgender policy changes, that failure could give rise to a court invalidation of such action,” said Marshall. 


“Sawyers and his four democrat endorsed School Board members have kept parents in the dark that they are ready to allow biological male students, teachers and staff who merely claim female ‘identity’ (undefined) the use of previously female-only showers, changing facilities, locker rooms, hotel rooms on school trips, rest rooms and female sports teams (and vice-versa),”  Delegate Marshall noted. 


The ACLU has advised the Prince William Schools that, “the school board also faces potential liability under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution if it excludes transgender students from using the same restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated school spaces as other students.”  “Sawyers’ claim that he is offering ‘guidance’ to the School Superintendent that the policy will not affect bathrooms and showers, in the face of a threatened ACLU law suit, is a total fabrication,” Marshall added.


The Virginia Constitution provides that “…the mere separation of the sexes shall not be considered discrimination.”  Delegate Marshall’s 2016 FOI request to the PW schools disclosed “there were no founded cases of discrimination filed against Prince William County Schools or its employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in the last 5 years by its students, employees, or contractors.”


Marshall added, “Bullying, taunting or teasing of students for any reason including transgender interests, is wrong, and is already banned in Virginia public schools under my 2005 law giving public schools the authority to address bullying, including notifying parents and requiring character education and student conduct codes.”


In the Fall of 2016, a PWC middle school female student told the School Board: “If a boy would walk into the locker room while I was changing my clothes, I would feel violated and embarrassed.  Do you really think that a class of 7th grade girls in the locker room would like it if a boy walked into the locker room and started taking off his clothes?  All the girls would feel violated.”


This sentiment was echoed by a liberal West Coast Mom who blogged, “There was a man in the bathroom…who felt entitled to be in the woman restroom…and the only thing stopping us was our fear of political correctness…this notion that we’re shamed into silence b/c we might offend someone has gone too far…” (www.thegetrealmom.com/blogwomensrestroom)




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