The Virginia State Capitol. Photo by Markus Schmidt.

RICHMOND – Senate Democrats on Thursday voted down a Republican proposal that would have weakened a new law that grants nonbinary and transgender students more rights and protection in Virginia’s public schools. 

The legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Travis Hackworth, R-Tazewell County, aimed to remove the requirement for public school divisions to follow the Virginia Department of Education’s “model policy” for dealing with the aforementioned students, essentially leaving it up to individual school districts to decide whether they want to adopt the guidance. It failed in the Senate Education and Health Subcommittee on Public Education by a 2-1 party-line vote.

State Sen. Travis Hackworth, R-Tazewell County.

A Democratic-controlled General Assembly had passed legislation in 2020 ordering the VDOE to create

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