On July 27, a Lynchburg judge dismissed a challenge against the Virginia Department of Education’s model policies for the treatment of transgender students. Following a hearing last week, Judge Fred Watson said the plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge the model policies.
“We celebrate this victory for transgender and nonbinary students throughout the Commonwealth,” said Kyleigh Hynes, Equality Virginia’s Safe Schools Coordinator. “And we also recognize that there is still more work to be done to ensure that all students have equal access to education in safe and affirming school environments.”
This past March, the General Assembly directed the Virginia Department of Education to create model policies inclusive of transgender and nonbinary students, mandating that Virginia school districts must adopt policies by the beginning of the 2021 school year that are at meet with or exceed VDOE’s model policies.
“These policies will help ensure that transgender and nonbinary youth in each school division are protected from discrimination and mistreatment, and are able to learn and succeed in the classroom this year and beyond. When gender diverse students are respected and supported, the entire school community thrives, said Hynes.”
Shortly after the model policies were announced, the Christian Action Network, a pro-family, pro-religious freedom. and pro-traditional values organization based in Forest, Virginia, alongside two families whose children attend Lynchburg public schools filed a motion in March with the Circuit Court of Lynchburg requesting the VDOE guidelines be postponed.
The lawsuit was enjoined by one filed in Richmond by the Family Foundation, Founding Freedoms Law Center, and a family whose children attend public schools in Hanover County.