Student rates

Open for Public Comment on Youngkin’s Transgender Student Policies

Governor Youngkin has defended policies promoting parents’ rights, but many Democrats and civil rights groups say they could harm LGBTQ+ students.

NORFOLK, Virginia – Author’s note: The video above is about Governor Youngkin’s recent comments on his administration’s proposed policies for transgender students. It aired on September 21.

People can now share their thoughts on a proposal to change previous transgender policies in Virginia schools with ones focused on promoting parents’ rights.

The changes come from the administration of Governor Glenn Youngkin.

The public comment period on the proposal opened on the website of the regulatory town hall of Virginia on Monday and closes Oct. 26 at 11:59 p.m. The administration aims to enact the new policies the following day.

RELATED: Youngkin Administrator Rolls Back Transgender Protections in Public Schools, Focuses on ‘Parental Rights’

Some of the new guidelines include:

  • School divisions must disclose sensitive student information to the student, the student’s parents, and school personnel with “a legitimate educational interest or when required by law.”
  • School divisions may only refer to each student by using the name on the student’s official record or an associated nickname. The same goes for pronouns.
  • Students will need written parental permission if they wish to be referred to by a different name or pronouns than those listed in the official student record.
  • School divisions can only change a student’s legal name or gender if a parent or eligible student submits a legal document or court order supporting the change.
  • Students can only use toilets that match their gender.

Youngkin has championed policies promoting the rights of parents when it comes to making decisions for their children.

“It’s not to the exclusion of a trusted teacher or trusted advisor, but it’s just a clear recognition that parents should be at the center, on the front line, making decisions with the child,” Youngkin told 13News Now.

Many Virginia Democrats and civil rights groups have pushed back against the administration’s proposal, saying the policies could harm LGBTQ+ students.

“Governor Youngkin is attacking some of the most vulnerable and youngest members of the LGBTQ community to score political points with the far right,” the Virginia Democratic Party tweeted Sept. 19. “These are students who are already struggling with higher rates of harassment and Governor Youngkin is targeting them.

In response, students at nearly 100 Virginia schools plan to walk out of class on Tuesday, including those in Hampton Roads. The student-run Pride Liberation Project is organizing it, reports WUSA9, 13News Now’s sister station.

A list of participating schools shows several high schools in Virginia Beach, Newport News, Portsmouth, Williamsburg-James City County, and York County.

WUSA9 contributed to this report.