Virginia, citing that the school division’s inclusive policy on gender identity and transgender students violates their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion and speech.The lawsuit was filed in Rockingham County Circuit Court by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian legal advocacy group based in Scottsdale, Ariz., on behalf of Deborah Figliola, Kristine Marsh, Timothy and Laura Nelson, and John and Nicole Stephens, according to local TV station WHSV.ADF has been deemed an extremist anti-LGBTQ+ group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).The policy that the plaintiffs take issue with was adopted last year by the Virginia Department of Education, which issued a model policy regarding the treatment of trans students and required that schools throughout the Commonwealth adopt commiserate policies.

HCPS’ policy laid out that teachers ask students for their preferred names and pronouns and use them. If the teacher were informed by the student their gender did not match their assigned sex at birth, that information was shared with a guidance counselor who would speak with the student about gender identity; however, the teacher was not allowed to notify parents.According to the lawsuit, HCPS’ policy requirements far exceeded what was laid out in the model policy issued by the state’s Department of Education.Along with the impact this lawsuit could have on students in the HCPS division, it also has the potential to set a precedent in the state.“There hasn’t been a case that’s been exactly like this before that’s been brought in Virginia.

So it’s going to be incredibly important for other jurisdictions to see what the outcome of this case might be,” Amanda Reiman Johnson, a lawyer and legal analyst at AC Reiman.