ASHLAND, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County School Board will hold a meeting Tuesday to hear the community weigh in on its proposed bathroom access policy for transgender students.

The proposed policy introduced by Hanover’s school board last week would require transgender students to submit a request to access bathrooms, locker rooms and other changing facilities that align with their gender identities.

County residents interested in addressing the proposal in front of the school board can submit their name and magisterial district to sbpubliccomment@hcps.us or call the school board clerk at 804-365-4502 no later than noon Tuesday. The public hearing begins at 7 p.m.

The board, which won’t vote on the proposed policy Tuesday, will hold a closed session meeting before the public hearing to consult with its legal counsel regarding the proposed bathroom and locker room policy.

The proposed policy would require transgender students, with their parents or guardians, to submit a formal request to use school bathrooms, locker rooms or changing facilities that align with their gender identities and give the board authority to approve or deny them.

State lawmakers passed a law in 2020 requiring all school districts to adopt guidelines crafted by the Virginia Department of Education regarding transgender and nonbinary students by the start of the 2021-22 school year.

The Hanover school board adopted some requirements last November but opted against implementing new rules allowing transgender students to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identities. That decision led the Virginia ACLU to file a lawsuit against the board on behalf of five parents of transgender students.

Critics of the new proposed policy say it’s unnecessary, based on false assumptions and causes more harm to transgender and nonbinary youth. A University of Richmond law professor told 8News last week that while the board’s response to individual cases could lead to challenges, the language in the proposed policy appears to be legal.

John F. Axselle III, the school board’s new chairman, said the policy was an effort between the board, its attorney and counsel from Alliance Defending Freedom. Hanover’s school board approved a plan in March to have ADF, which some have classified as an “anti-LGBTQ hate group,” review the district’s policy regarding the treatment of LGBTQ students.