Media Contact (804) 659-9570 

August 24, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. – In response to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ opinion on the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) model policies for the treatment of transgender and nonbinary students, ACLU of Virginia Legal Director Eden Heilman issued the following statement: 

“VDOE’s proposed model policies are part of a coordinated, national effort to erase transgender and nonbinary students from the classroom. At best, they invite discrimination; at worst, they require it. Attorney General Jason Miyares’ opinion defending the policies is every bit as cruel and misguided as the policies themselves.  

“But like all attorney general opinions, today’s is only advisory, not binding: Virginia courts are not required to follow it. School boards continue to have an obligation to create safe, inclusive school environments for all students in compliance with state and federal law. 

“The Youngkin administration should be ashamed for ignoring the record-breaking number of Virginians who submitted comments opposing these policies, and for continuing to play politics with young people’s lives rather than address the very real needs of Virginia’s education system.”