The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

New 2023 Model Policies are causing controversy in districts: VHSL refuses to listen


Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is still undecided about how Youngkin’s 2023 model policies will affect their schools. The  governor’s policies were published on July 18 of this year by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and serve as a guidance document for school districts in Virginia. 

The Washington Post explains the policies should help schools “develop their own policies for the treatment of transgender students.”

Several counties have refused to adopt these new policies including Fairfax County Public Schools, Prince William County Public Schools, and Arlington County Public schools, according to the Virginia Pilot.

The 2023 model policies adhere to the First Amendment, implying that people cannot place their beliefs onto others. The document outlines that gender is not a personal choice or subjective experience, but rather someone’s biological sex, and that students’ use of facilities and involvement in extracurricular activities will be determined by their biological sex and not by gender identity. 

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“Practices such as compelling others to use preferred pronouns is premised on the ideological belief that gender is a matter of personal choice or subjective experience, not sex,”  the document outlines.

The purpose of the model policies is to reassure parents in their child’s upbringing and education as stated in the Purpose section of the 2023 Model Policies. The Guiding Principles section made sure that schools turn to the parents about any decision that may influence their child, such as pronouns, preferred names, and nicknames. 

“The parents’ right to autonomy in child rearing is a fundamental right protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and that state interference with that right must be justified by a compelling state interest,” said Judge Moon in the Williams vs Williams case of 1997

Students are worried about the new policy putting transgender individuals at risk by outing them.  “These policies provide families the opportunity to weigh in on their child’s decisions and be a partner in their education. We are elevating parents and giving them a seat at the table,” said Dr. Lisa Coons, VDOE’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, in a news release.

The Virginia High School League (VHSL) has stated that they are not changing their policy in accordance with the new 2023 models but are keeping the 2014 Virginia Code on Treatment of Transgender Students. In an article published by LoudounNow, VHSL spokesperson Mike McCall said ““It’s important to note that the VDOE model policy is not a law, but provides guidance on treating transgender students in schools.” 

According to the article, McCall cited 38 appeals following the VHSL’s criteria for transgender students, 35 of which were granted since 2014. 

“Governor Youngkin and the VDOE made a dangerous, politically motivated decision to ignore the thousands of Virginians who submitted public comments in opposition to his proposed model policies – policies which single out transgender and nonbinary youth in our schools,” said Narissa Rahaman, executive director of Equality Virginia, in a news release.