(CNSNews.com) - On a day when some Virginia high school students walked out of class to protest Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin's new transgender policy, the Biden White House assured Americans that Biden is "a partner and he is a strong ally" of transgender youth.
First of all, Youngkin's model policy for Virginia public schools simply puts parents in the loop: Parents must instruct the school system in writing if their child is to be called by a different name or pronoun. Teachers may not "conceal material information about a student from the student’s parent, including information related to gender."
And the model policy says transgender students must be "treated with respect, compassion, and dignity in the classroom and school environment."
At Tuesday's White House briefing, a reporter asked spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre if the White House "supports" the students who walked out of class to protest the new policy:
"So, I haven’t seen those reports," Jean-Pierre said:
"But you know this is a President that supports the LGBTQI+ community and has been supporting that community for some time now -- as a Vice President, as senator, and certainly as President now. And he speaks always — always is proud to speak out against the mistreatment of that community.
"Trans-- we believe and he believes transgender youth should be allowed to be — to be able to go to school freely, to be able to express themselves freely, to be able to have the protections that they need to be who they are.
"Again, I have not seen these reports, but I can — we can say with all confidence — and you all know and have covered him for some time — when it comes to this community, he is a partner and he is a strong ally, as well as the Vice President (is)."
WTOP radio, the news station serving the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, sent reporter Neal Augenstein to cover the student transgender protest at Loudoun High School in Leesburg, Virginia.
Augenstein interviewed a student named Felicity whose pronouns are "they/them."
Felicity said transgender students may be safer without their parents knowing about their change of gender:
"Many students have supporting parents, and they can go home to supportive homes, but there’s also students where school is their safe place. And, if we take that away from them, by taking away their privacy, that can really harm them,” said Felicity.
Asked if there might be a middle ground between the current policies and Youngkin’s new proposals, Felicity said, “There probably could be.”
“We need to be able to keep that privacy, because then people can figure themselves out, and when they feel safe, they can go and talk to their parents,” Felicity said. "It’s really important that we have that freedom, and yes, there could probably be some sort of middle area, but we don’t quite know what that would be yet."
Va. Governor Says Schools Must Use Students' Legal Names, Pronouns; 'Children Do Not Belong to the State