Virginia Democrats slam Youngkin on new transgender policies in schools
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- State Democrats are slamming Governor Glenn Youngkin for reversing transgender bathroom policies in schools, saying the state is moving backward.
This new policy reverses one created under the Northam administration.
Starting at the end of this September, transgender students will have to use the bathroom that aligns with the sex with which they were born.
"It's wicked and it's wrong,” said state Senator Creigh Deeds. "The governor didn't publicly announce that plan to a Virginia media outlet. He announced it to a right-wing blog,”
Teachers are also not required to use alternative gender pronouns in the classroom. Youngkin's office claimed this would violate the teacher's First Amendment rights.
"He is using vulnerable children to appeal to his base,” added Deeds.
Schools now also must keep parents informed about their children.
"These policies would require that schools force parental involvement even when kids might not think it's safe,” said Delegate Sally Hudson.
She adds that this policy is not a win for students.
"The reality is that not all parents are supportive of LGBT kids. Forty percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT and it's usually because their parents kick them out,” said Hudson.
She believes there are more relevant issues on which Youngkin could focus.
"I wish the Governor was more focused on what really matters in our schools, like learning. If this governor spent half as much time talking about the other rooms in a school as he does about bathroom breaks, maybe the roof in our middle school wouldn't be leaking,” said Hudson.
The Office of the Governor responded to a request for comment with this statement:
“The 2022 model policy posted delivers on the governor’s commitment to preserving parental rights and upholding the dignity and respect of all public school students. It is not under a school’s or the government's purview to impose a set of particular ideological beliefs on all students. Key decisions rest, first and foremost, with the parents. The previous policies implemented under the Northam Administration did not uphold constitutional principles and parental rights, and will be replaced.”
These policies are not yet set in stone as they will undergo a public comment period.