• Grayson schools eliminate $900K deficit

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Public Schools administration announced Wednesday that in one year, a previous $900,000 deficit in the school budget has been eliminated using a series of cuts and savings methods.

    This announcement came one week after the Grayson County School Board’s close-out meeting for the year. At that time, there was an estimated remaining deficit of $8,715.53, with the possibility for receiving more funding before the end of June.

  • Federal court: restroom rules violate constitution

    RICHMOND ― A federal district court in Virginia last week ordered the Gloucester County School Board to let a transgender student use the same restrooms as other boys at his school.

    The June 23 ruling could have an impact on a restroom policy the Grayson County School Board approved in May, which says all students must use the restroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate.

    The student in the Gloucester case was born female, but identifies as male.

  • New schools in Grayson's 10-year plan

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County school system’s 10-year plan includes a new elementary school and new high school, along with smaller short-term goals, like improving teacher salaries.

    At the Grayson County School Board’s June 13 meeting, Schools Superintendent Kelly Wilmore updated the board on the plan.

    Wilmore highlighted several goals, including heating and cooling system improvements; a new turf athletic field; a new reading program; an improvement of teacher salaries; and, eventually, a new elementary school and high school.

  • Parent seeks compassion for transgender students

    INDEPENDENCE ― A local parent addressed the Grayson County School Board during the June 13 meeting, regarding the board’s recent implementation of a school system policy that forces transgender students to use restrooms based on their birth gender, not the gender they identify with.

  • School board fires back at county

    HILLSVILLE – The Carroll County School Board opened its meeting Tuesday with a detailed response to allegations posed the night before by the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, regarding a perceived under-budgeting of state funds.

    The school board had requested that the supervisors approve a $575,502 appropriation of additional state funds that were received based on the March 31 average daily membership (ADM) of students. The number of students went up, so Carroll received more money from the state.

  • Bryson shares advice, encouragement for GHS grads

    This year’s graduation speaker at the Galax High School commencement ceremonies is Col. Eric Bryson, veteran, active officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, father and GHS graduate.

    Bryson, who grew up in Galax’s Oldtown community, will speak at the ceremony to be held Saturday morning.

    Bryson took a few minutes to answer questions and discuss the things that matter most to him with The Gazette. In true military style, Bryson’s words were clipped, factual and to the point.

  • Court ruling could affect restroom policy

    Staff Reports

    RICHMOND – The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit of Virginia will not rehear the case of a Gloucester County transgender high school student suing his school board over discriminatory restroom policies.

    This action could affect a policy adopted in May by the Grayson County School Board, which says all students must use the restroom that matches the gender listed on their birth certificate.

  • Principals' group opposes restroom policies

    The Grayson County School Board’s recent adoption of a policy regulating transgender students’ restroom use has caused some controversy among people on both sides of the issue, and raised questions among those unfamiliar with transgender issues.

    According to the American Psychological Association, “transgender” is an umbrella term that “incorporates differences in gender identity, wherein one’s assigned biological sex doesn’t match their felt identity.”

  • Grayson restroom policy opens doors to debate


    INDEPENDENCE ― A new policy regulating which facilities transgender Grayson County students can use was brought to the school board by a state senator who says he worries about his daughter’s safety.

    State Sen. Bill Carrico (R-40th District) of Grayson County brought his concerns to the Grayson County School Board last week, and the board held a special meeting with Carrico and a representative from a conservative activist group on Friday evening.

  • Carroll, Galax schools in no rush to pass restroom policies


    In contrast to the Grayson County school administration, Carroll and Galax school systems are adopting a cautious approach.

    Galax Schools Superintendent Bill Sturgill said any action taken will be within a framework of tolerance and acceptance.

    He pointed out that the letter of guidance from the U.S. Department of Education was partly created to help school systems figure out how to handle the issue of transgender students in a sensitive manner.