HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County School Board will discuss possible changes to the district’s policies for transgender students and the lawsuits it faces from parents during a closed meeting Thursday.
The board plans to meet with its legal counsel in a closed session at 6 p.m. to talk about “probable and pending litigation,” including one lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Virginia on behalf of parents of transgender students, and “possible amendments to policy as it relates to transgender students.”
Last year, the school board voted not to adopt policies allowing students to use bathrooms and school facilities aligning with their gender identity.
The General Assembly had passed legislation requiring Virginia school divisions to approve such policies. The lawsuit from the parents was filed by the ACLU of Virginia the month after the school board opted not to adopt the policies.
Hanover County’s School Board then voted to allow Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based group that the Southern Poverty Law Center designated as an “anti-LGBTQ” hate group, to review the county’s school district’s policy.
Kelly Merrill, one of the parents named as a plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit, spoke out about the division’s policies during a recent Hanover Board of Supervisors meeting when candidates for the Mechanicsville school board seat were nominated.
“It’s become clear over the past several months that we currently have several school board members who are openly anti-trans and therefore refusing to adopt state-mandated policies that would support transgender childrens’ safety in school,” Merrill said.
There are no other agenda items for Thursday’s meeting and no public comment period will take place. The board will return to an open meeting once the closed session is complete to certify the closed meeting.
Hanover’s school board will hold its next regular session on May 10.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.