HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hanover County School Board will consider a proposal that would require transgender students to make a formal request to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities and give the board final authority to approve or deny them.
The proposed policy, which is set to be introduced on Aug. 9, comes after the school board voted last year not to adopt policies, as Virginia school divisions were required to under legislation passed by the state legislature, which would allow students to use bathrooms and school facilities aligning with their gender identity.
A month later, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Virginia filed a lawsuit on behalf of five transgender students against the Hanover County School Board.
The agenda for next week’s school board meeting shows the proposed policy that will be introduced. Under the proposal, transgender students and their parents or guardians would have to submit written requests to the school’s principal to use the restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms that align with their gender identity.
The proposal says school administrators, who can request a meeting with the students and their parents or guardians, will also receive “all relevant information,” including the following:
- a statement from the student that, among other things, specifies their gender identity and how they have consistently, persistently and insistently expressed that identity
- signed statements from the student’s personal physician, therapist or licensed counselor verifying that the student has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and/or that the student consistently and authentically expresses a binary gender identity
- statements from the student’s parent or guardian
- student disciplinary or criminal records
- information related to the privacy and safety of other students
- any other relevant information, including documents from other interested parties
Principals will provide a summary of the student’s request and supporting documentation to the school board, which will have the final say on all requests, according to the language in the proposed policy.
The school board will also consider other factors for requests concerning locker rooms and changing facilities.
According to the proposal, these factors include, but are not limited to, the physical design of the facility, “whether students appear in a state of undress” in the facility and if there are “a sufficient number of single-user stalls to accommodate students’ privacy interests given time constraints imposed by the activity for which the facilities are being used.”
Students can submit another request if their initial one is denied, but only “if the student’s circumstances materially change.”
Correction: The policy will be introduced on Aug. 9. An earlier version of this story stated it would receive a final vote on that date.