VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Beach School Board, by a 9-1 vote, approved revisions to their transgender model policies, aligning them with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration.
Board member Jessica Owens cast the lone no vote, while Beverly Anderson abstained.
The board heard passionate comments over the past several meetings from those who supported the governor’s model policies, and from LGBTQ students who opposed them.
Among the key points of the revised transgender model policies in Virginia Beach City Public Schools:
- A student’s official record may not be amended unless the eligible student or the parent of a minor student submits a legal document, such as a birth certificate or a court order, substantiating the change in the student’s legal name or sex.
- School personnel “shall refer to each student using only the a) name that appears in the students official record, b) a nickname that the eligible student or the parent of a minor student has designated in the student’s official record, or c) commonly associated with the name that appears in the student’s official record.”
- School personnel “shall refer to a student using only the a) pronoun associated with the student’s sex or gender identity as set forth in the student’s official record, or b) the pronoun that the eligible student or parent of a minor student has designated in the student’s official records.”
- Students will use the restrooms that correspond to the student’s sex as designated in the student’s official record, unless state or federal law require modifications.
- Students will use locker rooms and changing facilities that correspond to the student’s sex as designated in the student’s official record.
- For VHSL activities designated by sex, the appropriate participation of students shall be determined by the sex designated in the student’s official records rather than the gender or gender identity.
- No policy, guidance, training or other written material issued by the school division may encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent, including information related to gender.
- Students are entitled to be safe in and use restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities without harassment, discrimination, fear or intimidation.
- For students participating in extracurricular activities involving overnight trips, they should be made aware of rooming, bathing and changing facility arrangements for the trip prior to signing up for it, and will use the facilities that align with the student’s sex as designated in the student’s official record, unless state or federal law requires other modifications.
- Bullying, including cyberbullying, is prohibited.
See the revised transgender model policies below:
Last month, the board voted 10-1 to remove references to the Virginia Department of Education Model policies for Treatment of Transgender Students in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools.
At that same Sept. 12 meeting, the board approved, by a 7-3 vote with one abstention, giving parents the choice to alter their child’s school records, incorporating Youngkin’s belief that only parents can change their child’s school records and gender identity instead of students themselves.
The board has held several meetings in the past three months since the governor’s model policies were released by the Virginia Department of Education.
In August, the board voted not to adopt the VDOE guidelines for transgender students as they were written. At that time, five members voted in favor of the model policy, five voted against and one member abstained.