Virginia students across the state participated in a walk out today to protest a series of anti-trans policies proposed by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) under Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) administration.
Students marched out of school carrying Pride flags and holding signs supporting the trans community.
Students at Annandale High School chanted “Protect trans youth” and “Say no to the DOE” before a trans student spoke about their personal experience not being affirmed by their parents.
“Generational difference”: one student shares his story, says his parents know he is transgender but do not use the correct name or pronouns.
This, the student says, is the “generational difference.” pic.twitter.com/HrVS4k0PwA
— Reagan Reese (@reaganreese_) September 27, 2022
McLean High School students in Northern Virginia chant “D-O-E, Leave us be” and “Trans rights are human rights” in protest of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s model policies for transgender students. pic.twitter.com/iU7bzmqtwe
— Nathaniel Cline (@nathanielcline) September 27, 2022
The walk out was planned through the Pride Liberation Project, a group of over 500 LGBTQ students and allies from across the state. The group provided a Walkout Guide and instructions to students on getting approval from school administrator’s to walk out.
“Emphasize that you have a legal right to protest,” the group wrote on Instagram.
The proposed policies require written permission from a student’s parents before teachers can call them by a name or pronoun they were not given at birth. But teachers will be allowed to misgender students even if parents submit all the required requests, citing teachers’ rights to free speech. Teachers will also be required to share information about students’ gender identity with their parents.
The policies also require students to use locker rooms and restrooms in accordance with their sex assigned at birth, play sports according to their sex assigned at birth, and participate in all other gender-segregated school activities according to their sex assigned at birth.
The policies are currently in a public comment period until October 26.
Press is not allowed to cover today’s walkouts against the state’s anti-transgender policies at eight Prince William County high schools this morning, but here’s what we can see from public property: hundreds of kids walkout at C.D. Hylton High School at about 9 a.m. pic.twitter.com/xroA9mDVrS
— jillpalermo (@jillpalermo) September 27, 2022
Crowds of students have begun to walk out of Northern Virginia schools in protest of Gov. Youngkin’s proposed restrictions on transgender students’ rights. WATCH LIVE: https://t.co/UosIhKGAgC pic.twitter.com/nwKTQVVTS2
— NBC4 Washington (@nbcwashington) September 27, 2022
Youngkin is a Trump-endorsed governor who has consistently spoken out against LGBTQ rights.
Throughout his campaign, he repeatedly denigrated transgender people, referred to trans girls as “biological males” who are “not fair” for trying to participate in sports, and was honored at a gala by an anti-LGBTQ group — which itself was supported by hate groups and Trump-affiliated organizations.
Days before the election, Youngkin also admitted that he is against same-sex marriage, although he pledged he “will support” that right when he is in office.
Most of all, Youngkin made schools the main theme of his campaign. He ran on a platform of parents’ rights and centered his campaign around parents who wish to shut down progressive policies in public schools.