Virginia School District To Keep Existing Policies Despite Updated Guidance

Glenn Youngkin from Virginia, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – In Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, Superintendent Michelle Reid of the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) declared on August 15 that the school district would be keeping its existing policies despite recent guidance from Governor Glenn Youngkin concerning transgender students.

Reid mentioned that a thorough “legal review” revealed the school’s practices align with the country’s and state’s anti-discrimination regulations, validating their approach.

In 2022, the Virginia Department of Education revised its 2021 policies regarding the treatment of transgender students in public schools. The updates claim that the prior administration’s guidelines had overlooked parents’ rights and sidestepped other significant legal and constitutional doctrines affecting student education, including those of transgender students.

The updated guidance indicated that prior regulations aimed to push a particular perspective with the intention of driving social and cultural change within schools.

The revised guidelines dictate that school activities must segregate by biological sex, and students can only partake based on their sex at birth, not their identified gender. The guidance also states that parents can require their child to utilize restrooms that match their birth sex, while stating that alternative facilities should be made available for those who need them.

One of the principal directives from Virginia’s Department of Education emphasizes the rights of parents in making choices for their children. The guidelines are designed to uphold these rights and facilitate their implementation.

The policies also reference the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, emphasizing parents’  rights in directing their children’s upbringing and education.

The model policy mandates that every local school board should adopt policies in sync with the 2022 standards. However, FCPS has been accused of defying the new policies.

FCPS reinforced its commitment to creating a nurturing, inclusive environment for everyone, including those who are transgender or identify beyond traditional gender norms.

A statement from the district further stated that students will still be recognized by their chosen names and pronouns as outlined by FCPS Regulation 2603 (V) and federal law. They will also continue to have access to facilities and activities in line with their gender identity, as laid out by Regulation 2603 (IX) and federal law. Lastly, they will maintain their privacy concerning their transgender or gender-expansive status, legal name, or birth-assigned sex as detailed in FCPS Regulation 2603 and federal legislation.

Copyright 2023,