Loudoun Residents Respond to Governor Youngkin’s Proposed Rollback of 2022 Model Policies

In a recent survey on the proposed rollback of of 2022 Model Policies, conducted by Loudoun County Magazine, 92 participants provided input regarding Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s proposed policy that requires schools to categorize transgender students by their biological sex.

More than 67% of participants did not support Virginia’s Governor Glen Youngkin’s proposed policy.

One survey participant commented on the use of bathroom and locker facilities stating, “The trans kids I know are terrified to use the restroom at school because they don’t want to be targeted. None of them change in the locker room or use group bathrooms. They don’t need to be singled out when they are just trying to fit in, and they have no desire to use group bathrooms or changing facilities. They know they’ll be targeted.” 

Approaching the issue from an alternate perspective, one participant wrote, “It varies from situation to situation. While we look at providing sanctuary for a smaller sect of students, we also have to look at the rest of the students who may feel their rights are also being traded for. If students are allowed to use the restroom of the gender they identify with, how would we know if someone misuses the opportunity?”

While bathroom use and locker room accessibility were on the minds of our survey participants, classroom inclusivity remained a major concern for participants. One participant pointed to creating a welcoming atmosphere at school. They wrote, “Children have a right to feel welcome as their authentic selves in a classroom facility.”

Regarding a rollback of 2022 Model Policies, one participant commented, “It will destroy any possibility of a school being a physically and psychologically safe environment – which was the entire purpose of the original “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools.” 

Almost 54% of people said that they do not believe that Governor Youngkin’s planned rollback of the 2022 Model Policies will give parents a greater say in their students’ school life. Furthermore, 75% of survey participants do not support the policy which bars students from using another name or set of pronouns without parental permission. When asked if they believe that Governor Youngkin’s decision to roll back the 2022 Model Policies for treatment of transgender students in Virginia schools could be perceived as discriminatory, almost 73% of survey participants voted “Yes.” 

Parental support of LGBTQ+ students is another issue that participants highlighted. “Kids need to be protected from parents or guardians who would abuse, punish, or disown them if they are not cisgender.” 

In turn, some participants felt that schools should provide a safe space for students who may feel unaccepted at home. “Some students aren’t safe at home to use their preferred pronouns. We shouldn’t turn the school into another unwelcoming place for them.” 

The majority of survey participants asserted that they do not support the policy which states that school staff are not required to use a child’s preferred pronouns even with parental permission. One participant commented  “Why make a child feel less than, uncomfortable, or that their personal preferences aren’t valued?”

Teachers chimed in on the subject as well. “As a teacher in LCPS I support ALL my students and want them to feel safe to be who they are – without fear or judgment.” commented another.

Nearly 70% of participants disagreed with Governor Younkin’s statement that “the current policy has specifically encouraged hiding gender information from parents.” Around 68% of survey participants believe that Youngkin’s planned rollback of the 2022 Model Policies will harm students.

When asked if they believe that these policies violate the Virginia Human Rights Act, which is an act that bans discrimination, including gender discrimination, in places of public accommodation, such as educational institutions, almost 70% of participants voted “Yes.” 
If you have a comment or story to share regarding the 2022 Model Policies, please email us at info@loudouncountymagazine.com

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