RPS Superintendent Adds Name to Amicus Case Supporting Transgender Student Policies
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Several circuit courts across Virginia are now involved in reviewing policies relating to transgender students in public schools.
These policies, aimed at creating a more inclusive environment for transgender and non-binary students, are a leadership requirement of the Virginia Department of Education following legislation approved by the General Assembly in 2020.
In March, the Lynchburg-based Christian Action Network filed a petition asking the court to grant an injunction to prevent the policies from being implemented.
On July 8, Equality Virginia, ACLU Virginia and several other groups filed an amicus brief to show why these policies should go forward.
An amicus, or “friend of the court” brief, is filed by organizations or individuals not directly involved in a case to provide information relating to issues to help courts make decisions.
“We were really happy to have all of this legal precedent to then save and present the stories of these families from all over Virginia,” said Vee Lamneck, Executive Director of Equality Virginia.
Lamneck said the stories are the most powerful part of the legal document. Five transgender students and their families share their experiences in public schools.
“[Many] who have experienced real harm and discrimination, bullying and sometimes even violence simply because of their gender identity, ”Lamneck said.
More than 50 partners and school board leaders from across Virginia added their names to the record, including Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras.
“[It] symbolizes and signifies the importance of having educators and school administrators who stand up for transgender students, ”Lamneck said. “I really applaud the Superintendent’s ability to be public and visible in his support for transgender students.”
However, there are also many groups and members of the public who oppose these policies.
A heated encounter occurred in Loudoun County last month when the topic was brought up at a school board meeting.
Meanwhile, the president of the Christian Action Network said in March that these policies showed: “… nothing but contempt and contempt for parental rights, traditional values and religious teachings of all major religions.”
Messages to the group for comments on the amicus brief were not immediately returned.
However, Lamneck hopes those who oppose it will take the time to read the experiences of the students.
“I think these stories make it clear that this guidance is needed so that schools, administrators and teachers know what steps they need to take to create a more inclusive environment,” they said.
The Founding Freedoms Law Center and the Family Foundation have also filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the implementation of these policies.
“The ‘transgender’ seeks to answer the problem of gender dysphoria by claiming a person’s mating disruption, but that does more harm than good,” the group’s website says. “Studies show that people who try to switch to the opposite sex are more depressed and suicidal than those who seek talk therapy. “
The Family Foundation is expected to provide an update on the ongoing litigation during its trip to southwest Virginia on Thursday before a school board discussion in Russell County.
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