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UPDATE: LCPS continues to debate transgender policies

Younkin model and LCPS 8040 policies in conflict
A+new+policy+put+forth+by+Virginia+Governor+Glenn+Youngkin+that+changes+the+rights+afforded++to+transgender+students+has+left+some+in+the+Lightridge+community+uneasy.
Tessa Mlaker
A new policy put forth by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin that changes the rights afforded to transgender students has left some in the Lightridge community uneasy.

Lightridgenews.com originally covered this story here.

On July 18, 2023, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) under Governor Glenn Youngkin’s guidance set into effect their 2022 Model Policies which were designed to restrict the liberties of transgender students in Virginia.

Youngkin first introduced these Model Policies on September 16, 2022, as an executive order. The policies stated that transgender students could not use preferred pronouns, names, or bathrooms until a legal guardian consents. If a student shows signs of wishing to change any of these things, parents will be notified. The policies were to be enforced immediately after its release date, however the adoption process was stalled after backlash from Virginians, state legislature, and a review process by the office of the Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction. All model policies must be reviewed and undergo a comment period before the VDOE finalizes them. If any comment made questions the legality of the model policies, the review process is extended for another 30 days. The public comments were open between September 26, 2022, and October 26, 2022. The comments required the implementation of the policy to be stalled until July.

After the review process was completed, all Virginia counties were supposed to take on policies similar to the model policies. Policies are only accepted at the local level after the county school board accepts them. If Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) were to adopt Youngkin’s 2022 Model Policies, they would have to repeal policy 8040, which allows students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, and instate a policy that is similar to the Governor’s Model Policies. LCPS has still not repealed policy 8040, even after receiving backlash from members of the community, including parents who agree with the Model Policy.

“What is the point of putting a restriction on what pronouns we can use? The school system just seems to want to make students that are a part of the queer community uncomfortable,” said an anonymous Lightridge student. “A large percentage of students, that I know, aren’t out to their parents, so in reality it’s harming the students. School has been a safe space for some students due to their home lives, but implementing this will take that away from them.”

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About the Contributor
Tessa Mlaker
Tessa Mlaker, Photo Editor
Tessa is a senior and the Photo Editor for Lightridge News.

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