Students protesting against anti-transgender policies in Virginia, US on Tuesday. PhotoCredit: NBC News
By Biodun Busari

Students staged demonstrations across Virginia, the United States on Tuesday to register their dissatisfaction over new guidelines putting restrictions on transgender learners in the state’s public schools.

Reports revealed that students in Woodbridge, Springfield, Manassas, McLean and other Virginia cities were waving rainbow post signs and yelling, “Trans rights are human rights!”

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 According to NBC News, Virginia State Governor, Glenn Youngkin, earlier this month, rewrote the state model policies for the treatment of transgender students, mandating that all students use school facilities, including bathrooms or locker rooms, according to the sex they recorded at birth.

The policy revision also bans trans students from changing their names and pronouns at school without a parent’s permission and discourages school staff from hiding students’ identities.

Governor of Virginia, Glenn Youngkin who initiated the anti-transgender school policies

In their reaction to the policy, the affected students staged walkouts in the streets saying the governor wants to take away their rights.

A transgender senior student at McLean High School in Fairfax County, who helped in organising the protests, Ranger Balleisen, said, “Transgender are students just like everybody else. We don’t want to be out here fighting for our rights and protesting – we want to be in calculus class and learning how to drive.”

“But, instead, we have to be here, because they’re to take away our rights,” he added.

Meanwhile, Youngkin’s spokesperson, Macaulay Porter responded to the protests via an email to reporters, saying, “While students exercise their free speech today, we’d note that these policies state that students should be treated with compassion and schools should be free from bullying and harassment.”

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