Despite law, few Virginia school districts adopt state model transgender policies
Two years after a law passed the General Assembly requiring Virginia school districts to adopt policies for transgender and nonbinary students, few have opted to embrace model policies developed by the state.
In 2020, school boards were required by legislation to adopt policies similar to or more comprehensive than models developed by the Virginia Department of Education for the treatment of transgender students no later than the 2021-22 school year.
As of early September, however, only 10% of school boards have adopted the model policies, according to Equality Virginia. The LGBTQ+ advocacy group, which is tracking districts’ rollout of the law, said 13 school divisions have fully adopted the VDOE model policies, while 90 have opted to follow guidelines put forward by the Virginia School Boards Association that contends existing policies fulfill the law’s requirements. Still, other districts have rejected new policies outright.
“I’m a little disappointed with the reluctance of some school boards to follow the laws,” said Del. Marcus Simon, D-Fairfax, who carried the legislation along with Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax, in 2020.
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