Regarding the new 2023 Youngkin Model Policies for Transgender Students, Superintendent Spence has requested and Chair Riggs has agreed for the School Board to go into a closed meeting on July 25th to "consult with legal on any potential legal issues that may arise for the School Board around these policies."
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is very clear that public bodies can only go into closed meetings for reasons as defined in the law. The law specifically states that public bodies cannot go into closed "merely because an attorney representing the public body is in attendance or is consulted on a matter." A FOIA opinion has also stated that "the legal matters exemption would not allow a closed meeting to be held to discuss general policy or other matters that may eventually have legal consequences."
My e-mail to the School Board on this matter is posted below. The School Board works for and serves the public and we should not be having these policy discussions behind closed doors. When legal questions were being asked about the recent Transgender Resolution and the Sexually Explicit Materials policy, the board did NOT go into closed session for these matters. Additionally, discussions in closed sessions have often turned into attacks on Board members, discussions about committee assignments, and other unrelated closed session matters. I will continue to vote against certifying closed session meetings when the Board violates FOIA.