VDOE holds off on transgender student policy decision to review thousands of comments

Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -The Virginia Department of Education is putting off any changes to the state’s transgender student policies while reviewing tens of thousands of submissions the proposal got during the public comment period.

There were more than 71,000 submissions by the time the period closed on Wednesday.

The proposed policies, introduced by Governor Youngkin, would require students to use bathrooms and join sports teams based on their biological sex, not their gender identity.

Transgender students must also get their parents’ permission to change their names and preferred pronouns for school documents. Schools can only recognize a student’s gender identity if the parent has requested it in writing. Otherwise, teachers can’t refer to students by different names or pronouns.

Opinions on the policies range, but those against the policy believe this practice does nothing but harm transgender students. Whereas a majority of those for the changes believe it is empowering parents to make their own decisions for their children.

The department has delayed the implementation for at least another 30 days, Nov. 26 while they sift through the public’s messages.

After changes are made, the policies will go to the state’s superintendent to be finalized.