One of the latest ways to prove you’re against equality for the transgender community is to bring up girls athletics. The anti-LGBT crowd claims having gender identity included in the school system’s non-discrimination policy will result in boys suddenly declaring themselves women simply so they can compete against girls in high school sports. This not only purposefully dismisses the trans community by implying they’re only transitioning for ulterior, sinister motives, but it’s also an issue that falls beyond the realm of the local school board.
High school sports in the Commonwealth of Virginia are governed by the VHSL, which is a state level organization. This is where the decision’s made regarding guidelines for how transgender students are allowed to participate in high school sports. Even if you believe there needs to be further discussion about how transgender students are allowed to participate in athletics, in other words, that discussion would take place with the VHSL and not with the Fairfax County School Board.
Dalia Palchick, a current school board member who’s running for the board of supervisors, put this extremely well at a recent forum hosted by the League of Women Voters. After highlighting how local government is “about very specific things” and “definitely not about ideology,” she highlighted how girls sports are not in the purview of local government.
“Girls sports are absolutely not anywhere in the purview of the board of supervisors. Not even on the school board,” Ms. Palchick said. “There’s the VHSL. It’s a state thing and so I just want to be clear about what we do do here.”
With that it mind, Republican school board candidate Laura Drain has still been commenting all over social media recently about how she believes transgender women competing in sports will result in “a disadvantage for the teenage girls.” At one point, she even deliberately misquoted a prominent transgender woman in the Fairfax community in a desperate attempt to score some political points. She’s either unaware of how the school board doesn’t govern participation in high school sports, or she simply doesn’t care and is trying to drag the issue into the debate anyways. Neither option is good.
Considering how the VHSL’s role has been brought up time and time again, it’s very likely she was just trying to drag the issue into the debate. In the final days before the election, this allows her to send a message to her anti-LGBT base while also trying to scare some moderates into thinking her opponents are trying to “erase womanhood.”
This isn’t just a one time thing for Ms. Drain and members of the Fairfax County Republican Party. Senior staff members of the Family Research Council, a designated hate group that’s primary mission has been to denigrate LGBT people, actually hosted a meet and greet for her at their home. And her fellow Republican Elizabeth Schultz actually skipped events at a school in her district in order to host an event with the same FRC staff member. Andi Bayer, another Republican school board candidate, even declared LGBT students to be “the loudest special interest group” and claimed we should “stop wasting on time” on promoting equality. It’s therefore clear Drain and other Fairfax County Republicans are intent on spreading an anti-LGBT message.
For someone who claims it’s Democrats who have been promoting “a radical agenda” and are trying to distract from the school board’s actual mission, it’s very telling that Drain is promoting the anti-trans messaging in the final days before the election. She couldn’t even be bothered to show up at a recent League of Women Voters forum for candidates in the Hunter Mill district, but now she’s mysteriously found the time to spread misinformation about a policy which the school board doesn’t even set. This shows where her priorities lie and is a prime example of why she doesn’t belong on the Fairfax County School Board.