Public school students from multiple districts in Virginia are initiating a school walkout on Tuesday to protest an unpopular new anti-trans policy planned by the Virginia Department of Education that, among other things, forces teachers to refer to a child only by their legal name unless allowed not to do so by their parents.

Many of the students left their classrooms on Tuesday morning to protest the new measures, which were spearheaded by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and which forces transgender students to use facilities consistent with their assigned gender at birth as well as forcing teachers to only use the legal name and pronouns of transgender students unless allowed by that students’ parents, according to CBS News.

“We decided to hold these walkouts as kind of a way to ... disrupt schools and essentially have students be aware of what's going on,” Natasha Sanghvi, one of the students who helped organize the protest, said.

Many of the students are asking the state education department to revoke the draft policies, which have yet to be implemented, and which run counter to the policies of the previous administration of Gov. Ralph Northam, who had instituted trans-friendly bylaws, the Hill reported.

“As a closeted student, my friends and I are terrified that we won’t be able to come home if these proposed guidelines go through,” one student said. “We just want to be ourselves at school, without worrying about whether we’ll be subject to abuse or harassment.”

“The original model policies were the cornerstone of almost every Queer protection that existed for LGBTQIA+ students,” the Pride Liberation Project, a “coalition of more than 500 LGBTQ+ student advocates,” said on an Instagram post. “These proposed guidelines are essentially taking that cornerstone and using it to undermine our rights.”

Despite the vocal protest from students and from many liberal school districts who are potentially refusing to comply with the draft policies to be implemented, Youngkin has stood firm on his anti-trans policies, citing parental rights, WJLA reported.

“... [S]chool districts will then be called on to adopt policies that are consistent with the model policy. So this wasn't something that school districts are given a choice,” he said. “This is the law and I would, on top of that, just ask school districts why they believe parents shouldn't be involved in these most important decisions.”

Students in multiple Virginia school districts are initiating a walkout on Tuesday to protest the pending anti-trans policies that are being passed by Gov. Glenn Youngkin's administration. This is a representational image. Karollyne Hubert/Unsplash.

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