Transgender students in Fairfax County had a win last week when a school board member opposed to the county’s new bathroom policy failed to win reelection, but one conservative member managed to keep her seat and is now at the mercy of the internet over a transphobic tweet.
Elizabeth Schultz was seen as the beacon of anti-trans light when she spoke out against a policy which would allow transgender students to use the bathroom aligned with their current gender. While the policy passed despite her vote, she has since taken to her twitter account to bolster her argument.
Unfortunately for her the story she tweeted was by the conservative Glen Beck run site “The Blaze” and the story suggested transgender men were mentally ill and a sign of sexual perversion.
“I’m not supporting any statements when I make a link in a Twitter feed,” Schultz told Washington DC’s NBC4. “You basically have the federal government setting education policy in individual school systems around the country under the threat of pulling federal monies.”
She pointed to concerns currently being debated in an Ohio school system where they are working towards allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms aligned with their current gender. Failing to do so, some have argued, could lead to the federal government pulling funds for the school because a policy suggesting otherwise would violate Title IX. Title IX says students must be treated equally and cannot be discriminated against because of gender, and the Department of Education has come out in support of transgender students on this issue.
Back in Fairfax, West Potomac High School teacher Robert Rigby has been one of the most vocal supporters for the policy update and was shocked to read Schultz tweet.
“I thought, How in the world are my kids going to take this?” he told NBC4. “I thought, What are the students in my gay-straight alliance going to think when they see this from a public servant, from one of their school board members?”