Protesters at UNC meeting unhappy with Spellings, HB2 enforcement

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Protesters interrupted the UNC Board of Governors meeting Friday.

Protesters interrupted the UNC Board of Governors meeting Friday morning to express their dislike for UNC System President Margaret Spellings and the school system's enforcement of HB2.

The UNC Board of Governors were originally scheduled to meet in Asheville for a regular session meeting, but moved the location to the UNC Center for School Leadership Development in Chapel Hill after threats of protest. However, protesters began to gather outside the UNC building around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

About 20 of the protesters were allowed to attend the 9 a.m. meeting.

As the meeting got underway, the UNC Board of Governors chairman reminded the crowd of the rules of conduct, saying that disruptions to the meeting would not be tolerated.

Shortly after Spellings began to speak, the protesters outside began to chant and the ones inside joined in saying in part, "You can't stop the revolution" and "Stand up, fight back" - forcing the meeting to go into recess.

The most recent gathering of protesters comes after Spellings' announcement last week that all state universities would follow the new HB2 law, which requires people to use bathrooms matching their biological sex.


On a conference call with reporters last Friday, Spellings expressed concern with House Bill 2. She said it could have a chilling effect on recruiting both students and staff and could affect Title IX money.

Spellings also said she felt the bill had been rushed through the legislature, but she stopped short of coming out against the new law.

Spellings noted the law doesn't describe how to enforce the bathroom rules, and that universities don't have to change their anti-discrimination policies protecting LGBT people.

Students at universities across the Tar Heel State have protested the decision. At Appalachian State, students with the LGBT Center held a sit-in in the chancellor's office, while at UNC Wilmington and NC State, students held sit-ins in front of bathrooms.

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