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How would Gov. Glenn Youngkin's new model policy around transgender students affect your school-age kids?

The exterior of the Virginia Department of Education.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin recently announced new policies regarding transgender students in Virginia public schools. (File photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

On Friday, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced new policies regarding transgender students in public schools.

The 20-page document details proposed guidelines for all 131 public school districts in Virginia. The policies, if adopted by a district, would require transgender students to use facilities matching the sex on official school records, and said they can only participate in sex-specific athletic programs and other activities that correspond with their sex.

The rules would bar students from changing their given names or asking teachers to refer to them as the gender with which they identify, unless their parents provide legal documents substantiating a change in name or sex. School personnel are also required to inform parents of their child’s “health, and social and psychological development,” according to the new policy.

A 30-day comment period opens Sept. 26 on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website. After the comment period ends, Virginia Department of Education staff will review the responses. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow will need to approve the document for the policy to be put in place.

Macaulay Porter, a Youngkin spokesperson, explained the policy in a Monday email to VPM News.

"This is about the right of parents to be involved in such important decisions and all our students are treated with dignity," she wrote in the email. "The law mandating that VDOE have a policy is cited, and the model policy is crafted to ensure local school boards who adopt it fully comply with all applicable federal and state laws. The 2022 Model Policies, designed to protect the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools, allows for a 30 day comment period for Virginians to engage on its suggested content.”

VPM News is curious about how the policy would impact students across the commonwealth. So, please take a moment to fill out the form below.

We’d also like to hear from you more directly: Send us a voice memo. Here’s a guide on how to best record your thoughts about Youngkin's new education policy and how it would affect the life of your school-aged kids. You can send recordings to us here: [email protected].

Clarification: The model policy would not be mandatory and would require adoption by individual school districts to be implemented.