Schools decide upon transgender bathroom policy

Published 6:00 am Thursday, July 29, 2021

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Transgender students at Buckingham and Cumberland County Public Schools will be allowed to use the bathroom/facility which corresponds with their gender identity as school officials adopt new nondiscrimination policies.

A state law approved in early 2020 asked the Virginia Department of Education to provide model policies to school boards that comply with nondiscrimination laws, maintain a safe and supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment and that prevent bullying and harassment.

The department states that all students should be allowed to use the facility that corresponds to their gender identity.

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Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) received criticism in recent weeks after School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson announced Wednesday, July 14, that transgender students would be required to use private restrooms until the School Board approves a policy on the issue. While the Prince Edward School Board does not meet again until Aug. 4, the first day of school is scheduled for Aug. 2.

Dr. Daisy Hicks, superintendent of Buckingham County Public Schools said Monday, July 26, that Buckingham has adopted the Virginia School Board Association policy which meets the Virginia Department of Education state policy requirement for transgender bathroom use.

Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones stated Wednesday, July 28, that Cumberland had also adopted the policy.

This article has been updated from its original version after clarification from officials.