VIRGINIA (DC News Now) — Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s policy change toward transgendered students has sparked controversy and resistance from some school districts, but one lawmaker promises to join the fight.
State Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, said the Youngkin administration’s order for school systems to stop identifying transgendered students by their preference is wrong and that “he has overreached beyond what anybody anticipated.”
“I think there’s a lot of buyer’s remorse out there,” said Lucas, the Senate president pro tempore. “To see these school districts and to see these students push back the way they’re pushing back gives me hope.”
Lucas said that Youngkin has his eyes on a presidential or being a vice presidential pick and is playing up to a national audience rather than being a governor for all of Virginia.
“This governor came into office saying that he was about all people and about all students, but he’s done nothing since he’s been in office except to try and in my opinion, to discriminate against students,” she said.
In response to the governor’s order to all of the 133 districts across the state, students last week at some schools staged a walkout.
And school districts like Alexandria City Public Schools wrote a letter to parents following the transgender directive that it will “continue its commitment to both implement and develop gender-affirming policies for all ACPS students.”
In a statement from a Youngkin spokeswoman, the students “belong to families not bureaucrats and school board members.”
“Virginians spoke clearly last year and they continue to say that parents matter,” the statement read. “Parents deserve to be involved in all critical discussions about their children. Schoolboards should bring them into the conversation, not cut them out of it.”
Lucas said the governor and his administration are making excuses.
“When it comes to LGBTQ students, the way he wants to do is to try and suppress them,” she said. “If they don’t have enough discrimination against them and here comes the governor with his heavy hand.”
She said the students “are doing the exact right thing to walk out, I think the school districts are doing the exact right thing to push back and I’m going to be pushing back with them.”