Public comments open for Virginia Public School 2022 Model Policies

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 3:56 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The 2022 Model Policies for Virginia Public Schools address the treatment of transgender students, and the new guidelines place parents in the position to tell schools what pronouns and name to use for their child.

On Monday, Sept. 26, the public comment period opened with strong opinions present on both sides.

The early sample of comments shows little middle ground, with many saying that trans youth must be protected, and many emphasizing the potential harm that such changes could cause to young people.

The comments in favor of the policy focus on parental involvement, parental rights, and bringing the focus back to education.

The changes are supported by Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“The model policies have been drafted in order to put parents in a very important role in making decisions with their children, and I felt that the previous policies really did exclude parents,” Gov. Youngkin said.

Governor Youngkin says the back and forth in the comments is important.

“As we are able to review the the comments that will come in over the next 30 days, we of course will give all of them and the important consideration that they deserve,” Gov. Youngkin said.

NBC29 reached out to its legal analyst AC Rieman to explain the next steps in the process.

“What will happen is the Virginia Department of Education will review those comments, and it’s ultimately up to the superintendent Jillian Balow, who will approve or not approve this policy proposed by Youngkin,” Rieman said. “The comment periods are really just a matter of following due process, so before anything is permanently implemented, you have this comment period. Ultimately, I think it is up to the the people who are elected.”

If the policy is passed, Virginia schools will have to comply.

“You can’t choose which laws you’re going to follow and which ones you’re not,” Gov. Youngkin said. “It’s a very good discussion to be had. At the end of the day, I do think that it is a debate about whether parents shouldn’t be involved in their children’s education or not, and I don’t understand the view that they shouldn’t be.”

The comment period is open from September 26 to October 26.

If you would like to weigh on the decision, here is a link to the public comment forum.

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