Gov. Youngkin's transgender student policies 'damaging,' says NoVa orgs

Governor Glenn Youngin's model policies on transgender students are already affecting Virginia families. 

Since the Sept. 16 release date, students are missing school for fear of mistreatment by staff and other students. Plus, reports of suicidal thinking and active self-harm are proliferating, according to Fairfax County Public Schools Pride, Fairfax County Federations of Teachers, Asian Educators Association of FCPS, Hispanic Educators Association of FCPS, and six more D.C. region organizations that released a joint statement Monday. 

"The changes proposed by Governor Youngkin to model polices on transgender students are damaging to students, families, teachers, businesses and public education … Families are wondering if Virginia will remain a safe place in which to raise their children. Many have expressed that Virginia is telling them that they and their children are suddenly unwelcome here," the statement reads. "With all of the discussion in these policies of parental rights, the rights of the parents of students most affected are ignored entirely."

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The statement alleges that Youngkin's controversial policies are not evidence-based or based on best practices. The groups accuse Youngkin and the Virginia Department of Education of "targeting" trans and non-binary youth to prevent them from being comfortable in school. 

The organizations also state that the model policies are inconsistent with state laws passed by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor of Virginia on March 4, 2020. 

"No new legislation has been passed, and the VDOE is not empowered to rewrite state law," the statement reads. 

The groups want the VDOE to withdraw the 2022 model policies and enact policies that are consistent with the 2021 guidelines.

Read the full statement below: