Home News School districts defiant after Youngkin proposes transgender student policy

School districts defiant after Youngkin proposes transgender student policy

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School districts in Northern Virginia are expressing hostility to a policy proposed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin that requires schools to address students based on their biological sex unless a parent gives written approval otherwise.

Officials in Alexandria Public Schools and Fairfax County Public Schools were among those who reacted negatively to the newly proposed policy announced by the Virginia Department of Education last week. The policy heavily emphasizes parental rights and requires a written parental request for a school to address a student by a different name and pronouns or allow the student to use bathroom and locker room facilities that do not correspond to their biological sex.

YOUNGKIN ADMINISTRATION OVERHAULS POLICY FOR VIRGINIA TRANSGENDER STUDENTS

In a Monday statement, the Alexandria School Board said it was “concerned” with the proposed policies, which it said “seek to undermine” the district’s efforts to achieve “equity for all” per the district’s strategic plan.

“As a School Board and division, we are concerned with these ‘model policies’ that do not align with our mission, vision and core values to support all students and staff, in particular our core value of ensuring that we provide a welcoming environment for everyone in our school community,” the district said in the statement.

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Michelle Reid, in a letter to the district community, said the school district would be “thoroughly reviewing” the new policies and said the district maintains a commitment to “maintaining equitable opportunities and access for each of our students, staff, and families in a justice-centered, future-focused, and student-driven school environment.”

Election 2022 Youngkin
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin speaks with reporters after touring a Loudoun County elections facility at the County Office of Elections, in Leesburg, Va., Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022. Youngkin inspected ballot scanning machines undergoing logic and accuracy testing. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Cliff Owen/AP

“I understand the concerns that our LGBTQIA+ staff, student, and family community have about what this change of direction by the state may mean for our school division,” Reid said. “Please be assured that FCPS remains committed to an inclusive learning environment for each and every student and staff member and that our schools will continue to be safe and respectful learning spaces. Here at Fairfax County Public Schools, we are dedicated to providing a caring climate and culture where each and every student, staff member, and family is welcomed, respected, valued, and supported, as they experience a deep sense of belonging.”

Fairfax County Public Schools has faced particular scrutiny in its treatment of students identifying as transgender after the Washington Examiner first reported the school district required all teachers in the district to complete an online training that said parental consent was not necessary for students to change their name in official documents and class records or to use different bathroom and locker room facilities.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

The proposed policies enter a public comment period on Sept. 26 before going into effect at the end of October. School districts will then be required to adopt their own policies consistent with the state guidelines.



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