Action 3:

Support the LGBTQ+ students in Hanover County:

In light of recent developments, the Hanover Democratic Committee (HDC) reaffirms its commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and laws that ensure students who are part of that community will be treated fairly and equitably.

We are deeply disappointed that the Hanover School Board has failed in its responsibility under the law to develop required policies and guidelines that apply accommodation, inclusion, and affirmation and a public education free from discrimination to transgender students.

The board has repeatedly refused to comply with state law and has made limited exceptions only behind closed doors or when threatened it faced litigation because of its inaction. Furthermore, the majority of the Hanover School Board voted at the March 2022 School Board meeting to engage Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to review their Equal Educational Opportunity Policy. ADF is a rightwing organization that advocates against educational equity policies and for criminalization of LGBTQ people and that has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

We call on the Hanover School Board to comply immediately with the Virginia Department of Education- (VDOE) model policy for the inclusion of transgender and nonbinary students and to cease their relationship with the Alliance Defending Freedom. Failure to do so not only contravenes state law, but exposes the county and its taxpayers to fruitless and costly litigation. In so doing, we call upon the Board to adopt evidence-based best practices and to work with representatives of the LGBTQ+ community, and fully account for their considerations and participation in the final standards.

The HDC asks everyone to email their school board members and urge them to adopt the VDOE model policy that supports our LGBTQ+ students in Hanover County. 

John F. Axselle III, Chair    Beaverdam
Robert J. (Bob) May, Vice Chair    South Anna
Ola J. Hawkins Ashland
Robert L. Hundley, Jr. Chickahominy
Steven Ikenberry Cold Harbor
John E. Redd, Jr. Mechanicsville