New Loudoun County Public Schools students now have the option to indicate that they identify as neither male or female upon enrollment as long as they are of legal adult age or have received parent or guardian consent.
Parents and guardians of existing students and adult students may also request to use the new gender code by filling out a form available on the “Families” and “Students” pages of the school system’s website.
LCPS Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Services Asia Jones informed the Loudoun County School Board of the change during its March 9 meeting.
Jones said the Virginia Department of Education is providing students in the commonwealth the opportunity to identify as non-binary in order to remain consistent with the evolution of statewide and national laws relating to gender expression.
“The new, non-binary gender code was developed and made available to schools to be consistent with the Code of Virginia” Jones explained.
The LCPS Department of Pupil Services is currently working with the Department of Digital Innovation to incorporate the non-binary option into the school system’s Student Information System.
Only parents, guardians and adult students may select the option during new student enrollment, Jones said.
The School Board has approved a series of changes to LCPS regulations over the last few years with the goal of enhancing equity for students and staff who are part of the LGBT community.
In January, the board voted 7-2 to incorporate the words “gender expression” into LCPS Policy 1040 — Equal Opportunity for Equitable, Safe and Inclusive Environment.
A 5-4 board vote in February 2019 approved the previous version of Policy 1040, with its acknowledgement of sexual orientation and gender identity proving particularly controversial.
Jones’ announcement to the board Tuesday, however, warranted little discussion aside from a few questions from Jeff Morse (Dulles District).
Morse — who voted “no” in the two aforementioned votes regarding Policy 1040 — ultimately seemed assuaged by the fact that the change aligns with adjustments being made across Virginia.
“It sounds like we’re falling in line with state and federal guidance at this point, both from VDOE and from the DMV,” Morse said.