Virginia will no longer allow students to use facilities marked for the gender they identify with and will mandate that they file legal documents if they wish to be called by different pronouns. Those directives were among several guidelines for schools that the Virginia Department of Education announced in a reversal of transgender policies that the state outlined last year.
The guidelines, or Model Policies, released by the administration of Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, also say that schools must “keep parents fully informed about all matters” related to a child’s health and social and psychological development, and that schools may not “encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent, including information related to gender.” The guidelines also say that school personnel will not be required to address or refer to a student “in any manner” that would run counter to an employee’s personal or religious beliefs.
Democrats and L.G.B.T.Q. activists say the policy poses a clear harm to transgender children, including forcing educators to disclose a child’s gender identity to parents.
“Trans kids deserve to learn and thrive in an environment free of bullying, intimidation, and fear,” Mike Mullin, a Democratic member of the state House of Delegates, said on Twitter on Friday. “That means being addressed as who they are and supported for who they will be. Especially from their teachers and their administrators.”
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