Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin says school districts in the state “don’t really have a choice” about adopting his administration’s model policies for transgender students and that those who are not complying are at risk of legal troubles.
The model policies direct teachers to refer to transgender students by their biological sex and birth name unless parents agree in writing to any changes. They also require students to play on sports teams based on their biological sex.
“There’s no decision to be made here,” Youngkin said on Thursday’s episode of Fox News’s “America Reports.” “Our law is crystal clear.”
“There’s not a choice to be made by these counties and, in fact, now they are all being clearly brought out in legal jeopardy and liability,” Youngkin continued. “They’re liable personally and as boards, and this will play itself out in the court system.”
Earlier this week, two parents in Virginia Beach filed a lawsuit against their school board for refusing to enact the policies.
The lawsuit states that the parents “want to protect their children from being compelled to use biologically inaccurate names and pronouns, forced to use bathrooms and locker rooms with members of the opposite sex, or required to pretend during athletic competition that gender identity can override the enduring physical differences between boys and girls.”
The Virginia Beach School Board voted down a proposal to adopt the policies last month. The vote was five versus five, with one member abstaining, so it failed.
Governor Youngkin has welcomed the lawsuit.
“Let me just begin by saying I’m proud of them,” Governor Youngkin said of the parents who filed the lawsuit, according to the 13News Now report. “I’m proud of them for standing up for their children and for kids, and I support them and as you know, I firmly believe that there is no other decision for school boards than to adopt the model policies or policies that are consistent with the model policy.”