The ACLU of Virginia has filed a lawsuit against the Hanover County School Board over its vote last month to not adopt a transgender bathroom policy.The Hanover School Board willfully broke the law by voting to deny transgender students protections as required by state law.
The lawsuit, CBS 6 wtvr reports was filed on behalf of five parents with transgender students in Hanover Schools, alleged the Hanover School Board broke two laws at its November 9 meeting. It was at that meeting when the board voted 4-to-3 to not adopt a policy to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
In March 2020, the General Assembly passed a law mandating that all public schools in Virginia adopt policies ensuring appropriate access to bathrooms and facilities in line with a student’s gender identity, among other protections for transgender students. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) created model policies, including use of facilities, correct pronoun and name usage, privacy and security, dress codes, and more.
All school boards were required to adopt consistent policies by the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. In a public consultation during the November 9, 2021 school board meeting, the board’s own attorney advised them of the state mandate and standing case law from Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, yet the school board willfully voted to violate the law.
“The Hanover County School Board is denying transgender students a safe learning environment, even after understanding the risks it poses to the health and well-being of students, not to mention the legal liability that comes with breaking the law,” said Eden Heilman, legal director of the ACLU of Virginia. “There’s no ambiguity in the school board’s vote. The board members knew the board’s actions were discriminatory and outside the law, but they did it anyway. These students are compelled to attend school in a school system that refuses to protect them, and each weekday morning, our plaintiffs say goodbye to their kids while fearing for their safety. No parent should be forced into that position.”
Related:Virginia Beach School Board adopts transgender policy
VB School Board approves amendments to district’s nondiscrimination policy
Newport News School Board narrowly votes to adopt more inclusive transgender policy
Loudoun Schools Adopt Transgender Student Policy Over Protests
No transgender students should be afraid of going to school because their school system refuses to protect them.— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) December 9, 2021
No parents should have to fear for their kids’ safety after they drop them off at schools.
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