Write-in campaign announced for Roanoke County School Board election

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 10:25 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Tensions ran high once again at the Roanoke County School Board Thursday night as members voted to adopt a new policy regarding transgender students. Now a parent has announced her own write-in candidacy for the board.

The policy requires schools to notify parents when a student identifies as transgender, the student’s gender at birth must be used for school activities and bathrooms, and students must be referred by their names on official records unless a parent says otherwise.

Critics say these actions will put transgender students through discrimination and abuse; supporters say parents have the right to dictate their children’s education.

One person was arrested Thursday night and parent Samantha Newell is now challenging the school board chairman for his seat.

”I vow to protect all kids - black or white, trans or straight, band member or football player, every child deserves a safe and supportive school environment and I intend to give them that,” said Newell during the school board meeting.

Brett Hudson sent the following statement to WDBJ7:

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent the wonderful people of the Catawba District for the next 4 years.

I campaigned on keeping social agendas and politics out of our schools. I am proud that we have identified and removed such things and also developed policies to prevent such matters in the future. It is not the responsibility nor the right of the school system to teach or promote gender and sexual ideologies to children. Parents have a fundamental God given and constitutional right in the upbringing of their children. The idea that my write in opposition has that parents shouldn’t be notified in matters involving their children is appalling.

I am focusing on continuing to keep parents at the forefront of their children’s education because parents’ rights matter. I am also focusing on 130 million dollars worth of school construction projects with our new Burton Center for Arts and Technology and 2 much needed elementary school remodels. I also strive every day to ensure our children are receiving the best education possible.

I welcome the challenge because we live in a democracy and nothing sharpens you more than adversity. I love our community and it will be an honor if the people of the Catawba District allow me to represent them in the next term. I will always keep parents at the forefront of their children’s education”

Samantha Newell sent the following statement to WDBJ7:

“I am running because Brent Hudson has refused to listen to his constituents. Instead, he has doggedly pursued a radical agenda and is pushing extremist politics into our school.

Parents deserve a better choice. As the commonsense candidate, I vow to put children first, ensuring that our school district is full of love and support for ALL children, not just a select few.

Under my leadership, I will listen to teachers and work with each individual school district to make sure their unique needs are met. A vote for me is a vote for decency. Let’s bring back the neighborly love that Roanoke County is known for and leave politics for the politicians.”

The election is November 7th.