VIRGINIA (DC News Now) — Some school systems in the state are gearing up to do battle with Gov. Glenn Youngkin over his policy changes toward identifying transgender students to their parents and limiting facilities to a student’s original gender.
The Youngkin administration said that it expects school districts to comply with the new law which will go into effect at the end of November after a 30-day waiting period following public comment.
In the Alexandria City Public Schools system, the school board chairwoman said she doesn’t expect this to go over so easily for the governor despite his push for the change.
“I’m only one board member but I have a hard time seeing my board members being OK with this,” said board Chairwoman Meagan Alderton. “This is something that our board would be ready to tackle and fight for and do what we think is best for the community.”
The biggest assumption, Alderton said, is that every child has a support system at home. Many, she said, do not, especially when it comes to transgender students.
“Those who do not, a policy like this one can be very damaging,” Alderton said. “Primarily the requirement would be for school staff to out students to their parents.”
In a statement, Youngkin’s spokeswoman said that the governor spoke on this recently and was unequivocal in his expectations that the law will be followed.
“I don’t really have a lot of patience for folks that see a law and don’t comply with it,” he said. “And so we wanted to make sure our policy was introduced and then local school boards need to go through the process of issuing their policy that is consistent with the model policy.”
The governor said it’s about protecting parents’ “fundamental rights” to decide what’s best for their children.
“I fully expect that each of the school divisions should comply,” he said.
Greta Gordon, who is the co-chair of PTA’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee for Alexandria schools system, said the governor’s transgendered policy could create a dangerous environment for students.
“We felt that these proposed policies really did not only impact certain students but they also sought to or seek to erase our non-binary and transgendered young from the classroom,” Gordon said. “These policies as we’ve heard from members of our community directly impacted, they threaten their identity and their basic human rights.”
Alderton said that she’s seen unity in some other school district officials that feel the same way about Youngkin’s policies.
“I’ve definitely received emails from parents that said whatever you need, we’re willing to get behind you and fight for this,” she said.