(ETH) – A Virginia school district has passed a new policy that, among other things, allows trans-identified students to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity and requires teachers to refer to students by their preferred names and pronouns.

According to a report from the Christian Post, The Loudoun County School Board voted 7-2 on Wednesday to approve Policy 8040: Rights of Transgender and Gender-Expansive Students despite considerable opposition to the proposal. Among its provisions, Policy 8040 requires that school faculty and staff use the chosen name and pronouns of a student who identifies as “gender-expansive or transgender.”

“School staff shall, at the request of a student or parent/legal guardian, when using a name or pronoun to address the student, use the name and pronoun that correspond to their consistently asserted gender identity,” reads the policy. “The use of gender-neutral pronouns is appropriate. Inadvertent slips in the use of names or pronouns may occur;


The policy's passage was met with mixed response from community members. Atoosa Reaser, Vice Chair of Loudoun School Board, took to Twitter after the vote to announce her support for the policy, saying it is 'a first step to learning'

however, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy.” The Daily Mail stated: ‘The best interest of every child is what guides my every vote,’ said Atoosa Reaser, Vice-Chair of Loudoun School Board.

‘Tonight, the school board adopted a policy to protect our transgender students because feeling safe and welcome is the first step to learning.’ The new policy allows transgender student-athletes to participate on sports teams based on their gender identity and permits them to use aligning bathrooms and locker rooms.

Educators and district staff are also required to call students by their preferred pronouns. In addition, school mental health professionals will now be required to complete training on topics relating to LGBTQ+ students, such as bullying, harassment, and discrimination.