Va. board reverses course, OKs transgender student policies

The Pink Times
The Pink Times August 27, 2021
Updated 2021/08/27 at 8:46 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) — A Virginia school board has reversed course and voted to adopt state guidelines to protect transgender and nonbinary students.

The Newport News School Board voted 4-to-3 on Thursday to reverse its original decision to ignore state guidelines, news outlets reported. The vote came after nearly three hours of comment from more than 50 speakers and a presentation on how some of the procedures in the policy would work. The school board will spend the next few weeks working out some procedural details.

State law requires boards to pass policies to protect students who don’t identify with the gender they were assigned at birth by the start of the school year.

Last week, the board rejected a change to the district’s equity policy that would have more explicitly protected transgender students, prompting an outcry from parents, advocates and local officials. Thursday’s meeting was scheduled to reconsider the policies.

The Chesapeake School Board killed a vote to adopt the policies earlier this week. Policies won’t be in place in Virginia Beach before the school year starts for procedural reasons, but the majority of the board supports implementing them. Portsmouth adopted the protections earlier this summer.

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