Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) released a set of policies Friday that roll back accommodations for transgender students in public schools.
The Virginia Department of Education released updated “model policies” mapping out treatment of transgender students in schools from use of names and pronouns to participation in activities and sporting events separated by sex.
The document seeks to withdraw 2021 “model policies” set forth by former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) administration. The Youngkin administration states that it reviewed the “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools” adopted in early March 2021.
“The 2021 Model Policies promoted a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools,” the Youngkin administration wrote.
“The 2021 Model Policies also disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles that significantly impact how schools educate students, including transgender students,” it added.
The document also addresses transgender students’ use of bathrooms and defines a transgender student as “a public school student whose parent has requested in writing, due to their child’s persistent and sincere belief that his or her gender differs from his or her sex, that their child be identified while at school.”
The Virginia Department of Education will now require students to be separated by their biological sex “for any school program, event, or activity, including extracurricular activities.”
In addition, overnight travel accommodations, locker rooms and “other intimate spaces used for school-related activities” shall be separated by sex. The policy notes that modifications will be made “only to the extent required” by federal law.
The 2021 guidelines released by Northam’s administration allowed transgender students to participate in activities and use restrooms and locker rooms that corresponded with their gender identity, according to The Washington Post.
The 2022 guidelines also require that schools keep parents informed about matters such as “their child’s health, and social and psychological development.”
Youngkin won the governor’s’ mansion in 2021 after running on the issues of parental choice and the teaching of critical race theory-related content, among others.
The new policies put forward by Youngkin’s government come amid a nationwide push by GOP-controlled states to limit transgender students from participating in activities and sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.
Republican-led legislatures have also moved to restrict gender-affirming care such as puberty blockers — which are reversible — to LGBT youth.
According to the Post, schools will be required to adopt these policies throughout the state after a 30-day comment period beginning on Sept. 26.