Jul 20, 2023 - Politics

Virginia's new transgender student policies

Illustration of a gavel with a trans flag on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Virginia has new model policies for how its K-12 schools should treat transgender students.

Driving the news: Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the policy Tuesday — 10 months after he released a draft policy that drew criticism from LGBTQ+ advocates and sparked student protests around the state, per the Washington Post.

  • The Department of Education spent the 10 months reviewing more than 70,000 public comments it received.

Why it matters: The updated policies roll back the previous administration's LGBTQ+-friendly accommodations, which required schools to use the students' preferred pronouns and allowed students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that matched their gender identities.

State of play: The finalized policies are basically the same as the September draft, per the Times-Dispatch: Students must use bathrooms, locker rooms and pronouns that match their sex assigned at birth, and parental rights are emphasized throughout.

  • The changes from the draft allow students with a medical gender dysphoria diagnosis to request accommodations through a school ADA coordinator and say parents can opt their children out of using sex-segregated facilities.

Worth noting: The statewide policies don't affect local school divisions. They're meant to be the model for ones each school district creates itself.


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