Roanoke Valley Schools Take Wait-and-See Approach As Governor's Policy on Trans Students Goes Into Effect

If the past is any guide, school districts may largely ignore aspects of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s policy.

About 50 people attended a rally in support of trans youth outside Roanoke city hall and near the Roanoke City Public Schools' future administration building on Oct. 1. PHOTO BY HENRI GENDREAU FOR THE ROANOKE RAMBLER

Roanoke Valley public schools say they’re taking a wait-and-see approach as draft state policies restricting the civil rights of transgender students go into effect this week.

The public comment period ends at midnight today (Wednesday) on a proposal from Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin that reverses his predecessor’s policy requiring school districts to minimize stigma toward trans and non-binary students.

Under Youngkin’s proposal — which has attracted more than 65,000 comments — students would have to use restrooms and lockers matching their “biological sex,” and school staff would have to refer to students with male or female pronouns matching the sex on their birth certificate.