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Have you Heard about Trans Policies?: The Rollback of Rights in Fairfax,VA.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

By: Karlee Zolman 

If you head 25 minutes outside of American University’s campus, protections are being rolled back for transgender students. 

In a study by UCLA School of Law, there are roughly 6,200 transgender teens ages 13-18 in Virginia. Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin is in the works of imposing policies that will restrict the rights and autonomy of transgender students in schools.

In 2021, Former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration put forth a “Student Rights and Responsibilities Booklet” which outlined rights that trans students had. These rights included teachers and school staff using students’ chosen pronouns and names.

The 2022 the Virginia Department of Education Model Policies state that, “All students have the right to attend school in an environment free from discrimination, harassment, or bullying.” 

Despite this, discrimination may come easier with new policies that are being imposed by Gov. Youngkin. 

The new policies are taking back previous protections that trans students had. Saying that students should partake in activities and use the restrooms that align with their sex at birth. 

In the new booklet, it is stated that the old policies, “Disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles that significantly impact how schools educate students, including transgender students.” 

Under the new policies, students who are under the age of 18 will be called by their name and pronouns assigned at birth, unless otherwise specified by a parent or guardian. Schools will also be keeping parents informed about their students well-being which means they can share a students gender, sexuality or pronouns to a parent. 

Despite support via a public comment form, from parents who want to know more about their children, the new policies create a scary reality for many teens in the area.

Schools being able to out students to families creates concerns for safety. According to The Trevor Project, “28% of LGBTQ youth reported experiencing homelessness or  housing instability at some point in their lives.” The policies that affect students using bathrooms and locker rooms that reflect their gender identity also cause safety issues in the form of bullying. 

Even with this fear, Virginia students are not backing down. On Tuesday, Sept. 27, crowds of students left schools in opposition to Youngkins new policies. Over 90 schools were set to walk out, over half of those were in Northern Virginia. 

After a 30 day public comment period, the final decision on these policies will be made. 

Click here to follow Virginia’s town hall and add commentary to the impending issue.

Karlee Zolman

American '24

Karlee (she/her) is a fourth year student at American University, majoring in Journalism. This is Karlee's third year writing for Her Campus and first year as AU's print co-editor. In her free time, Karlee enjoys writing, dancing and going to concerts in DC!