Students in Virginia are planning walkouts this week over new guidance from the commonwealth’s Department of Education that requires transgender students to participate in sports programs and use restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities that align with their biological sex versus their “gender identity.”
NBC Washington reported that students at about 90 schools are expected to participate, especially in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudon, Arlington and Stafford counties. A Virginia-based student protest group called the Pride Liberation Project is reportedly organizing the walkouts.
Crowds of students have begun to walk out of Northern Virginia schools in protest of Gov. Youngkin’s proposed restrictions on transgender students’ rights. WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/UosIhKGAgC pic.twitter.com/nwKTQVVTS2— NBC4 Washington (@nbcwashington) September 27, 2022
On Instagram, Pride Liberation claimed that the new policies are “the single biggest loss for Queer rights in Virginia in years.”
Townhall covered how the guidance protects parents’ involvement in their child’s education. School districts are instructed against any type of sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum and informed that staffers cannot “conceal” information about trans students from their parents.
Rebecca noted that despite this, it appears that some Virginia school districts outside of Washington, D.C. do not plan to comply, based on letters from the schools sent to parents obtained by Townhall.
The updated guidance came out after reports broke that teachers in Fairfax County were given training ahead of the 2022-2023 school year that said that parental consent was not required for students who want to “socially” transition, which includes going by a preferred name and pronouns.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), spoke at a rally shortly after where he slammed the school district for unveiling these kinds of policies.
"They [school officials] think that parents have no right to know what your child is discussing with their teacher or their counselor, particularly when some of the most important topics, most important topics that a child may want to discuss are being determined," Youngkin said at the rally.
"What's their name? What pronoun will they use? How are they going to express their gender? This is a decision that bureaucrats in Fairfax County believe that they should be able to make without telling parents,” he added.
Last year, in the Virginia gubernatorial debate, Youngkin put parental involvement in education at the forefront of his campaign after his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, said in a debate “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Youngkin defeated McAuliffe in the election.