ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — School policies for transgender students could change across Virginia as Governor Glenn Youngkin leads an effort to overhaul state standards.

A new policy released Sept. 16 says parents must approve in-school counseling services on gender, as well as pronoun and name changes in writing. Teachers also can’t be forced to use a student’s preferred pronouns or hide information about a student’s gender from parents.

That’s a reversal of the original policy meant to protect transgender students.

Executive director of ‘Equality Virginia’ Narissa Rahaman joined “WFXR News at Noon” to talk more about these changes.

“The policies put forth by the governor on Friday will have devastating impacts on their mental health and their overall well-being and their ability to participate in schools,” said Rahama.

“Some of the guidelines laid out in the policy, such as forced-outing, or giving the teachers the right and opportunity to mis-gender a student or use their incorrect pronoun can have drastic effects on these students and can lead them to increased risk of harm, discrimination or bullying.”

Narissa Rahaman, Executive Dir. Equality Virginia

Rahaman also spoke on the purpose of the original policies, noting the stiff opposition from many parents and school board around southwest Virginia. She says the original policies were created to give administrators and teachers the tools they needed to create safe, affirming, and inclusive learning environments for all students in Virginia.

When asked about potential legal challenges to the new policies, Rahama said ‘Equality Virginia’ and other organizations are looking to see how they will be rolled out.

She says it’s ultimately up to school boards to adopt or reject the new policy, and her organization is looking into all the legal details right now.