Virginia will block schools from accommodating transgender students

These were rules that were working and were not causing problems that the governor is rolling back for ideological / political reasons.   He is causing problems for trans and all the LGBTQ+ kids simply to appeal to the republican hateful maga base.  I keep reading these red state governors talk about how they are empowering parents, and that the affirmative accepting polices disregarded the rights of parents.  But what the right really is saying is a small regressive group wants to revert the society back to the 1950s and undo all the gains of a progressive tolerant society.  These parents and religiously driven people want to deny science, advances in medical knowledge, and deny the increased understanding of biology.   They want to undo the civil rights protections gained since the 1950s and end anti-discrimination polices.   The rules claim it is not up to the state or schools to impose an ideology on students but that is exactly what the maga red state republicans are doing, imposing a regressive republican exclusionary ideology to replace the progressive acceptance of diversity and inclusion.    And in red states they are effectively dumbing down the education of kids while undoing the teaching of tolerance and decreasing acceptance of diversity.   The last paragraph claims that this will let all kids attend schools without bullying, all kids that are traditional cis gender straight white kids maybe.   The rest of the kids, the LGBTQ+ and non-white kids will face increased harassment and bullying from the kids from racist maga hater families and the teachers will be helpless to stop it, and some teachers will feel free to assist the bullies.   This is regressing the country 50 years.  Don’t forget they also are targeting children of color and racial acceptance, stoking the flames of discrimination by trying to whitewash history and calling the teaching of the truth of slavery as CRT.    Hugs  

The administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-Va.) is rewriting state rules to block transgender students from accommodations they would have received during the previous Democratic administration. (Al Drago/Bloomberg)

In a major rollback of LGBTQ rights, the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will require that transgender students in Virginia access school facilities and programs that match the sex they were assigned at birth and is making it more difficult for students to change their names and genders at school.


Under new “model policies” for schools’ treatment of transgender students released Friday evening, the Department of Education is requiring that families submit legal documentation to earn their children the right to change names and genders at school. The guidelines also say teachers cannot be compelled to refer to transgender students by their names and genders if it goes against “their constitutionally protected” free speech rights.

And the guidelines say schools cannot “encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent, including information related to gender” — raising the prospect that teachers could be forced to out transgender students to their parents.


School districts must adopt the new state guidelines or “policies that are more comprehensive,” after a 30-day comment period that will begin on Sept. 26, the Education Department said. The Board of Education will not have to vote to adopt the policies.

“These 2022 Model Policies reflect the Department’s confidence in parents to prudently exercise their fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment and the Virginia Constitution to direct the upbringing, education, and control of their children,” the guidelines state. “This primary role of parents is well established and beyond debate. Empowering parents is essential to improving outcomes for children.”

The model policies reverse guidelines published in 2021 by the administration of Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Those guidelines mandated that transgender students be allowed to access restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities that match their gender identities, stipulated that schools let students participate in sports and programs matching their gender identities and required that school districts and teachers accept and use students’ gender pronouns and identities without question.


In their own guidelines, Youngkin administration officials wrote that Northam’s guidance sought “cultural and social transformation in schools” and “disregarded the rights of parents.” The Youngkin guidelines state the Northam-era policies are dead: they “have no further force and effect.”

The Northam guidelines were developed in accordance with a 2020 law, proposed by Democratic legislators, that required the Virginia Education Department to develop model policies — and later required all school districts to adopt them — for the protection of transgender students. The law does not define the specific nature of these policies but says they should “address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices” and says they should be designed to prevent bullying and harassment of transgender students.

But — in a move that is likely to draw legal challenges — the Youngkin administration has used that same law to issue its own version of the Education Department guidelines. The 20-page document released Friday states it is being issued “as required under” the 2020 legislation.


The Youngkin administration is also attempting to repurpose the period of public scrutiny the Northam-era rules were subjected to. Those guidelines, as is typical, were posted for weeks online so the public could share their reactions.

The Friday document states that Youngkin’s guidelines were developed by “taking into account the over 9,000 comments received during the public comment period” for the Northam-era policies.

“The 2022 model policy posted today delivers on the governor’s commitment to preserving parental rights and upholding the dignity and respect of all public school students,” Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter said in a written statement. “It is not under a school’s or the government’s purview to impose a set of particular ideological beliefs on all students.”


The reaction from Democratic lawmakers was swift.


“These new policies are cruel and not at all evidence based,” tweeted Del. Marcus Simon, who was a co-sponsor of the Northam-era law. “If enacted these policies will harm Virginia children. Stop bullying kids to score political points.”

Allies of the governor praised the proposal. “Thank you @GovernorVA for fixing one of the most overreaching and abusive uses of a ‘model policy’ that I’ve seen,” tweeted GOP Del. Glenn Davis. “This new standard ensures all students have the right to attend school in an environment free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying.

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