Fairfax County Public Schools, the largest district in Virginia, announced on Tuesday that it has no plans to comply with Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin's new model policies.
In July, Youngkin's Education Department published "Model Policies on Ensuring Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia's Public Schools."
The policies aimed to turn the control back over to parents. Under Youngkin's new policies, schools would be required to "defer to parents to make the best decisions with respect to their children." This directive included informing parents about their child's health, social, and psychological development.
Teachers would also be expected to refer to all students by their biological sex unless otherwise directed by that child's parents. Additionally, transgender-identifying students would no longer be allowed to use the bathrooms of their choice but rather facilities that correspond with their biological sex.
In response to Youngkin's policies, several school districts spoke out against the directives.
This week, Fairfax County Public Schools announced its plans regarding the new model policies.
"We have concluded our detailed legal review and determined that our current Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) policies are consistent with federal and state anti-discrimination laws as required by the new model policies," the district's superintendent Michelle Reid stated. "Our existing policies still stand."
Specifically, FCPS noted that it "will continue to" address students "by their chosen names and pronouns." It "will continue" to provide transgender and non-binary-identifying students "with access to facilities, activities, and/or trips consistent with their gender identity." Furthermore, it noted that students "will continue to have their privacy respected regarding gender expansive or transgender status, legal name, or sex assigned at birth."
"Let me be clear that FCPS remains committed to fostering a safe, supportive, welcoming, and inclusive school environment for all students and staff, including our transgender and gender expansive students and staff," the district said.
Virginia's Arlington Public Schools announced in July that it would not comply with Youngkin's model policies.
"We have reviewed the model policies and determined that our current policies and policy implementation procedures that protect the rights of our transgender students will stay as is," stated the district's superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán.
A spokesperson for Youngkin previously stated regarding Arlington Public Schools' rejection of the policies, "The law states Virginia Department of Education shall provide and school boards shall adopt. The Virginia Department of Education has fulfilled its responsibility to develop the model policies, school boards are expected to follow the law."
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