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Tipsheet

Virginia’s Transgender Student Policies Delayed Pending Further Review

Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Policies created by the Virginia Department of Education surrounding transgender students will not go into effect until late next month, The Washington Post reported Thursday. 

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The model policies released in September direct school districts to require students who identify as transgender to use restroom, locker rooms and participate in school programs that align with their biological sex instead of their “gender identity.” The guidance advises against teachers keeping parents out of the loop on their child’s gender transitions. 

“No policy, guidance, training, or other written material issued by the [School Division] may encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent, including information related to gender,” the guidance stated.

Students who want to change their name or gender on official school documentation can only do so if the parents submits legal documentation. Until that happens, teachers cannot refer to students by a chosen name or preferred pronouns. 

The guidance came out shortly after reports broke that teachers in Fairfax County were given training over the summer instructing them to conceal students’ gender identity information from parents. The training specified that parental consent was not required for students who wanted to “socially” transition, such as going by a chosen name and preferred pronouns at schools.

After Youngkin’s guidance came out, liberal ares near Washington D.C. said they wouldn’t follow the guidelines, including Fairfax County. And, some students staged walkouts over the policies. 

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Initially, the policies were slated to take effect this week following the end of a 30-day period for public comment on the guidance. The education department will review the comments and possibly make changes. 

The Post noted that because the measure received feedback saying that it violated existing state law, the implementation was delayed an additional 30 days. 

In an interview with CNN this month, Youngkin said “parents have a fundamental right to be engaged in their children's lives” and that the previous administration excluded parents from kids’ lives.

“We needed to fix a wrong,” the Governor continued. “The previous administration had had a policy that excluded parents and in fact, particularly didn't require the involvement of parents. And let's be clear, parents have this right and children don't belong to the state, they belong to families,” he said of the new policies. 


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