Virginia governor wants schools to deadname trans students and force them to use wrong bathrooms
Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin has launched a new attack on trans students’ rights.
The proposed policies regarding trans students’ rights would mean that students could only take part in sports and use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth, according to NPR.
As well as this, schools would only recognise name and gender changes once confirmed by an official legal document, and under the guidance, school staff would not have to call students by their chosen names and pronouns if it “may be contrary to their personal religious beliefs”.
The policies, which the public can still comment on, were released online on Friday (16 September).
The Virginia Department of Education said the new rules would “reaffirm the rights of parents to determine how their children will be raised and educated”.
Democrat Danica Roem suggested the policy is a human rights violation.
One former Virginia student, who is trans, told the Washington Post it would be “especially devastating for students who know what it is like to have access to support and respect, and now have that taken away from them”.
It comes after other states across the United States have attempted to limit trans students’ rights at school, from banning trans students from playing sports to forcing students to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex.
In Tennessee, an eight-year-old trans girl and her parents sued the state in August over a law that denies trans students and school staff access to bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.
The family, alongside the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), sued the Tennessee Department of Education and the Williamson County Board of Education after the discriminatory rules forced the student to “limit her food and water intake” to avoid being made to use the boys’ bathroom.
The girl, known as DH, stopped using the school bathrooms entirely, developing “migraines” and “recurring nightmares of school” as a result.
The family said the school initially agreed to support DH’s transition, but later claimed it “could not provide DH with the support she needed to complete her social transition”, leading the girl to be “misgendered” or “referred to… by male pronouns by teachers and students”.
Cynthia Cheng-Wun Weaver, HRC’s litigation director, said it was “unfortunate” lawmakers are putting measures in place across the US to “attack some of our nation’s most vulnerable”.
She added: “We should all be inspired by DH’s strength and determination to fight for the right to be who she is.
“She, and all trans and non-binary children in Tennessee, deserve to be affirmed and encouraged to be who they are, in all aspects of their lives.”
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