Alexandria has told Virginia leaders it will not follow a proposed Model Policy that Governor Glenn Youngkin issued earlier this month that affects the rights of transgender students.
Alexandria has officially told Virginia leaders it will not follow a proposed Model Policy that Gov. Glenn Youngkin issued earlier this month that affects the rights of transgender students.
Proposed by the Youngkin administration 2022 Standard Rules for Privacy, Dignity and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia Public Schools say that school staff and other students cannot be forced to refer to students “in ways that violate their constitutionally protected rights,” such as using a pronoun that does not match a person’s gender assigned at birth.
The first “guiding principle” states that “parents have the right to make decisions about their children” and that “schools must respect parents’ values and beliefs.”
Letter signed by Mayor Justin Wilson and City Council members The Virginia Department of Education said the typical policy removes protections for transgender and non-binary students in Virginia public schools, stigmatizes and undermines their dignity, and puts the lives of vulnerable students at risk.
“While the governor’s policies target, demean and demean LGBTQ+ youth, especially transgender and non-binary students, Alexandria city leaders and community members will support, uplift, and provide a safe, supportive environment for LGBTQ+ youth to thrive,” the letter reads. . says.
“The City of Alexandria supports the position of the City of Alexandria Public Schools, which is that
continue to follow ACPS policies and practices while respecting individual rights and protecting students
from discrimination based on gender expression, gender identity, sexual harassment and
City schools also want to reassure students, staff and families that there will be no policy changes under the proposed 2022 model policy.
A letter to the school community from Interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt and School Board Chairwoman Meaghan L. Alderton specifically say, “The Alexandria School Board originally adopted a nondiscrimination policy in education in December 1996. As of 2013, the nondiscrimination policy recognizes gender identity and gender expression as protected classrooms for equal educational opportunity. JB School Board Policy: Non-Discrimination in Education protects students from discrimination based on gender expression, gender identity, sexual harassment, and transgender status.”
“We just wanted to make sure we let our community know that we will continue our commitment to both implementing and developing a gender policy for all ACPS students,” Kay-Wyatt told the board last week. “We have our priorities, we will continue to focus on doing what is best for all children.”
Youngkin’s office told WTOP in an email that “these policies state upfront that ‘all students have the right to attend school in an environment free from discrimination, harassment or bullying.'”
The statement added: “Unfortunately, there are some voices in the commonwealth who tell disingenuous narratives that incite fear and divide politics. We encourage concerned students, their parents, teachers, and all concerned Virginia residents to review the guidance itself, which states that “every effort shall be made to ensure that a transgender student who wishes to change his or her way of addressing is treated with respect , compassion and dignity. in the classroom and in the school environment.”
The comment period for 2022 model policies offered closes at 11:59pm on 26 October. If they are accepted, they will go into effect the next day.
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