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Judge dismisses legal challenges to transgender student protections

Gavel on sounding block
Gavel on sounding block(Source: Gray News)
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A Lynchburg Circut Court Judge dismissed legal challenges to block the Virginia Department of Education’s new policies on protecting transgender students.

Earlier this spring, two lawsuits were filed, which were eventually consolidated into one lawsuit by the Christian Action Network, trying to block the “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools.”

“While we disagree with the ruling that the Transgender Model Guidelines are merely guidance and thus no one has yet been harmed, school boards should take Judge Watson at his word and dismiss these heavy-handed suggestions from Richmond,” said Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation and the Founding Freedoms Law Center.  “Many school boards are breathing a sigh of relief that the Attorney General’s Office is now on record that when their boards reject this advice as wrong for children in their community, they will not lose state funding.  However, should schools choose to follow the Model Guidelines, Founding Freedoms Law Center will be there to protect children who lose their privacy rights, parents who lose their parental rights and teachers who lose their job over illegally compelled speech.”

These protection policies, to create a more inclusive environment for transgender and non-binary students, are a requirement at the direction of the Virginia Department of Education following legislation approved by the General Assembly in 2020.

“Every single child who goes to school in the Commonwealth deserves a positive, safe, nurturing learning environment, without the fear of discrimination or harassment simply because of who they are,” said Attorney General Herring. “We must do all we can to ensure that transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming students feel supported and protected and this model policy gives school divisions the roadmap to doing just that in their schools. I am incredibly proud of the work my team did defending Virginia’s model policy for transgender students and I hope that today’s win shows young people all over the Commonwealth that they will be supported here.”

You can read more about the judge’s decision, here.

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