Public comment period ends Wednesday for proposed transgender policy

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 5:08 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The public comment period on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposed transgender policy for schools is just days away from ending.

On Sunday, people demonstrated against the proposal at the Capitol Bell Tower. Those protestors are saying that the policy would severely limit transgender students’ rights.

More than 60 thousand public comments have been submitted so far. Many comments are against the proposed policy requiring transgender and nonbinary students to submit legal paperwork, including from their parents before they could change their pronouns or use the bathroom matching their gender identity at school.

“Not only is our governor and his party halting any future progress we could make but they are actively seeking to reverse, corrupt, and abolish the strides we have already made,” said Oliver Lesher with the Virginia Collegiate Queer Collective.

Some college students said they banded together to form a new organization because of that policy proposal. They created it just days before the public comment period started. The Virginia Collegiate Queer Collective or VCQC and others came out to the Capitol Bell Tower to share their message.

“We’re really looking at building a system to protect these children and to educate them on their rights, to educate policymakers on correct gender-affirming language, work with medical professionals to debunk some of the myths out there,” one student explained.

Demonstrators ended the rally by laying on the ground for five minutes and one second in a moment of silence. They wanted people to visualize how they say they feel silenced by the proposed policy.

People at the demonstration said that no matter what happens with the proposal they’ll still continue fighting for the transgender community’s rights.

“For generations, our predecessors have fought for us to live in a better state..and for the first time ever our generation is poised to leave it worse for students and young people following us”

That public comment period ends on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. After that, the Virginia Department of Education will review those comments and make any final changes to the policy proposal before the state superintendent finalizes it.

If you would like to leave a comment you can do so on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website.