NEWS & MEDIA
On Tuesday, Aug 22, the Virginia Beach School Board rejected a resolution to adopt Gov Youngkin's 2023 Model Policies related to transgender students. Therefore, the previous Northam policies remain in place.
In Virginia Beach public schools, secrets regarding child gender transition can be kept from parents and boys can still use girls' locker rooms.
The Attorney General issued an opinion that local school boards must adopt policies that are consistent with or more comprehensive than the 2023 Youngkin Model Policies. The VA Beach School Board is currently not incompliance with state law on this matter.
On the Tuesday, Sept 12th agenda, it seems that the school board will have further discussions about the model policies in their workshop (reminder--no action/votes can take place in a workshop). In the agenda packet, the school board attorney has made some proposals for the board to discuss and it highlights the areas in which the school board is not in compliance with existing law.
Here are the items that the school board has not adopted even though they are required to do so by law:
Establish the following definitions in policy:
- The word "sex" means biological sex.
- The phrase "transgender student" means a public school student whose parent has stated in writing that the student's gender differes from the student's sex, or an eligible student (student over 18) who states in writing that his or her gender differes from his or her sex.
Establish in policy the following items:
- Parents must be informed and given an opportunity to object before counseling services pertaining to gender are given.
- At the request of the parents of a minor student, the School should designate an administrator or counselor to speak, together with the student’s parents, with the student regarding questions pertaining to gender. Eligible students (those over 18) may consult with an administrator or counselor regarding gender at their discretion.
- Student records (i.e. birth certificate, Student Information System, final transcript) shall reflect the legal name or sex in a student’s or former student’s official record unless the eligible student or the parent of minor student submits a legal document, such as a birth certificate, state or federal issued identification, passport or court order substantiating the change of the student’s legal name or sex.
- School personnel shall refer to each student using only the a) name that appears in the student’s official record, or b) a nickname that the eligible student or the parent of a minor student has designated in the student’s official record. Names, titles, or nicknames associated with academic instruction or extracurricular activities may refer to a student without being noted in the student’s official records.
- 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 records.
- School personnel shall refer to each student using only the pronouns appropriate to the sex appearing in the student’s official record - that is, male pronouns for a student whose sex is male, and female pronouns for a student whose sex is female.
- VBCPS shall not compel personnel or other students to address or refer to students in any manner that would violate their constitutionally protected rights.
- For any school program, event, or activity (including extracurricular activities) that are separated by sex, the appropriate participation of students shall be determined by sex rather than gender or gender identity. VBCPS shall provide reasonable modifications to this policy only to the extent required by law.
- Overnight travel accommodations, locker rooms, and other intimate spaces used for school-related activities and events shall be based on sex. VBCPS shall provide reasonable modifications to this policy only to the extent required by law.
- Students shall use bathrooms that correspond to his or her sex, except to the extent that federal law otherwise requires. See Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, 972 F.3d 586 (4th Cir. 2020).
- For any athletic program or activity that is separated by sex, the appropriate participation of students shall be determined by sex rather than gender or gender identity. VBCPS shall provide reasonable modifications to this policy only to the extent required by law.
Until the VA Beach School Board adopts every item above consistent with the model policies or more comprehensive than, the school board is violating the law.
If you wish to express your thoughts with the School Board, the email is: SchoolBoard@vbcpsboard.com.