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Last day to comment on Youngkin's proposed rules for transgender students is Wednesday

Gov. Youngkin defended the policies for promoting parents' rights, but many Democrats and civil rights groups say they could harm LGBTQ+ students.

NORFOLK, Va. — People can share their thoughts on a proposal to change previous transgender policies in Virginia schools with ones focused on promoting parents' rights.

The changes come from Gov. Glenn Youngkin's administration.

The public comment period about the proposal opened on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall's website on Sept. 26 and closes on Oct. 26 at 11:59 p.m. The administration is aiming to enact the new policies the following day.

RELATED: Youngkin admin nixes transgender protections in public schools, focuses on 'parental rights'

Some of the new guidelines include:

  • School divisions have to disclose sensitive student information to the student, the student’s parents and school personnel with "a legitimate educational interest or when required by law." 
  • School divisions can only refer to each student using the name in the student's official record or an associated nickname. The same goes for pronouns. 
  • Students will need parents' permission in writing if they want to be referred to under a different name or pronouns than what's in a student’s official record.
  • School divisions can only change a student's legal name or sex if a parent or eligible student submits a legal document or court order backing up the change.
  • Students can only use bathrooms that correspond to their sex.

Youngkin defended the policies for promoting parents' rights when it comes to making decisions for their children.

“It’s not at the exclusion of a trusted teacher or trusted counselor, but it’s just a clear recognition that parents should be at the center of it, front of line of it, making decisions with the child," Youngkin told 13News Now.

Many Democrats and civil rights groups in Virginia pushed back on the administration's proposal, saying the policies could harm LGBTQ+ students.

"Gov. Youngkin is attacking some of the most vulnerable and young members of the LGBTQ community to score political points with the far-right," the Democratic Party of Virginia tweeted on Sept. 19. "These are students who already struggle with higher rates of harassment and Gov. Youngkin is targeting them."

In response, students at nearly 100 schools across Virginia are planning to walk out of class Tuesday, including ones in Hampton Roads. The student-run Pride Liberation Project is organizing it, 13News Now's sister station WUSA9 reports.

A list of participating schools shows several high schools across Virginia Beach, Newport News, Portsmouth, Williamsburg-James City County and York County.

WUSA9 contributed to this report.

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