Gov. Youngkin faces resistance over transgender student rights in Virginia schools

Late last week, Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin’s administration released its "model policies" for how districts should handle the rights of transgender students and their families.

At least one district in Northern Virginia has indicated they feel implementing these policies would be a step backward regarding school policies involving transgender students.

Virginia's updated Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools explicitly states that all students should be treated with respect, that each child is unique, and should have the opportunity to go to school without fear of bullying.

But some components of this model released by the governor have already met resistance.

Part of the policy includes calling a student by their biological gender in school records. The plan allows for this to change if a child’s parent approves of their child going by a different pronoun.

There’s also language requiring a district to disclose to parents if a student may want to consider some sort of counseling related to their gender identity.

Gov. Youngkin introduces new model policy for Virginia transgender students

At an event Tuesday in Loudoun County, Governor Youngkin said the change was about making sure parents were involved in decisions surrounding their kids.

"I would say trust your parents," Youngkin said. "At the moment, where there are very difficult issues in families, challenging issues in families, families come together. And this is why parents, in fact, have a role in their children’s lives. Parents have known these children from before they were born. And they understand them and they love them. And this is a chance for families to come together, not to be excluded."

Alexandria Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt and Board Chair Meagan Alderton issued a joint statement Monday saying they believe the governor’s model policies do not align with the district’s mission.

FOX 5 spoke to both leaders Tuesday who say they have concerns that this policy doesn’t affirm students' feelings as outlined in the district’s strategic plans.

Alderton said she doesn’t see the board adopting this proposal.

"I appreciate the governor’s input," Alderton said. "I appreciate the governor’s perspective, but we will make decisions through the local lens and make sure we are doing what’s best for Alexandria City Public Schools."

Governor Youngkin says school boards "must adopt policies consistent with all this." Districts have 30 days to review, which will include public comment, and then adopt their own policies.

Whether the Youngkin administration can force districts to comply with these policies is murky.

FOX 5 will continue following developments.