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Tipsheet

Virginia School Board Approves New Transgender Bathroom Policy

AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File

A school board in Virginia approved a policy this week requiring students who identify as transgender to submit a request to use the restrooms that align with their “gender identity” instead of their biological sex. 

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The new policy from the Hanover County School Board was passed during a meeting on Tuesday. Under the new policy, the student and their guardians must submit the written request to the school administration.The school board has the authority to approve or deny the requests.

Local outlet WRIC reported that the policy says administrators can request a meeting with the transgender student and their guardians about their request to use a bathroom that does not align with their gender identity. In addition, they can request a statement from the student about their gender identity and signed statements from the student’s doctor, therapist or licensed counselor “verifying that the student has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria.”

Reportedly, the school board adopted some requirements late last year but did not implement rules allowing trans students to use restrooms consistent with their gender identities.

Townhall covered Aug. 11 how the school district was considering the policy ahead of the 2022-2023 school year. In 2020, state lawmakers passed legislation requiring school districts to create guidelines consistent with the model policies crafted by Department of Education regarding transgender and nonbinary students.

Earlier this month, a transgender 8-year-old in Tennessee and their parents sued the state’s Department of Education over a law that prohibits trans students from using bathrooms aligning with their gender identity. The complaint said that the child, “D.H.” was “assigned” male at birth but has been “living as a girl” since age 6.

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This year, Matt reported how biological male transgender swimmer Will “Lia” Thomas competed on the women’s swim team at University of Pennsylvania after competing on the men’s team in previous seasons. In an interview with Daily Mail, one of Thomas’ female teammates revealed that Thomas was using the women’s locker room and said it was "awkward."

“It’s [the locker room] definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,” the swimmer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Daily Mail. She added that the swimmers raised concerns over the situation to their coaches.

“Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,” she said. “But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.”

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