Virginia Beach School Board to Discuss Youngkin’s Transgender Student Policies

Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

By Emily Richardson

July 25, 2023

The board may become the first to decide whether or not to adopt the Youngkin administration’s new model education policies that critics say trample on transgender students’ rights.

The Virginia Beach School Board will be meeting in a closed session this afternoon to discuss the newly released model policies regarding how transgender students should be treated in K-12 schools, according to the Board’s agenda.

These policies include a proposal that could lead to the forced outing of students to possibly unsupportive family members or guardians regardless of their home situation.

The closed session will take place ahead of the regularly scheduled meeting, pursuant with a portion of state code that allows school boards (and other public bodies) to close their doors to the public for “consultation with legal counsel … regarding specific legal matters.”

With the new model school policies released, it’s now up to school districts around the state to decide how they will implement the them, if they do at all — several divisions rejected Northam’s progressive model policies in 2021, such as Hanover County, a decision that got them hit with a lawsuit from the Virginia chapter of the ACLU on behalf of five families of trans students.

Board chair Trenace Riggs said the division will be following state and federal guidance as they have always done. Board member Victoria Manning says she doesn’t support discussing the matter in a closed session, as she did not “believe it meets the definition of a closed session topic under the law.”

This session comes just weeks after the Virginia Beach School Board narrowly (very narrowly, passing only 6 to 5) approved a resolution regarding LGBTQ nondiscrimination in June. This resolution may or may not impact the board’s decision on the model policies.

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