CV NEWS FEED // Virginia’s Department of Education issued an updated policy on Tuesday for the treatment of “transgender” children in public schools, which protects other children in locker rooms, bathrooms, sports, and classrooms.
The policy also prioritizes parental authority in children’s education, saying stating that parents are in the best position to make decisions about their children’s names, pronouns, or sex; not the government, schools, or the children themselves.
The document, “Model Policies on Ensuring Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools,” is supported by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who is a strong advocate for parental rights and involvement in education.
In other states, like New York, teachers are directed to call a child by his preferred pronouns or name without parents’ knowledge or consent. In Virginia, however, the new policy returns the decision of a child’s pronouns to the parents, stating that
personnel shall refer to a student by a name other than one in the student’s official record, or by pronouns other than those appropriate to the sex appearing in the student’s official record, only if an eligible student [a student over 18 or a student under 18 who has been emancipated] or a student’s parent has instructed in writing that such other name or pronouns be used.
“These 2023 Model Policies reflect the Department’s confidence in parents to prudently exercise their fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment and Virginia law to direct the upbringing, education, and control of their children,” the document continues. “This primary role of parents is well established.”
According to the document, the previous 2021 Model Policies for public schools disregarded parental involvement and were unsafe for both regular and “trans” students.
According to FOX News, under the 2021 policy “trans” students were allowed to use bathrooms that corresponded with their so-called “gender identity,” which allegedly led to a biological boy who identified as female raping at least three girls in high schools throughout Loudoun County, Virginia. The rapes were subsequently ignored or simply not dealt with by school officials.
Under the new policy, students are required to use bathrooms that correspond to their actual sex, not their claimed “gender identity.””; however, Iif state or federal law requires some schools to allow “trans” students to use bathrooms or locker rooms that do not correspond with their biological sex, parents will be given the right to opt their child out of those situations, and the child will “be given access to alternative facilities that promote the child’s privacy and safety.”
The policy also provides for protection in sports and sex-segregated school activities, stating that “the appropriate participation of students shall be determined by sex rather than gender or gender identity.”
Regardless of the new policies, the model is careful to stress that bullying from any student will not be tolerated. “Every effort should be made to ensure that a transgender student wishing to change his or her means of address is treated with respect, compassion, and dignity in the classroom and school environment,” the policy states.
“This is about doing what’s best for the child,” Gov. Youngkin said in an interview with The Associated Press, according to FOX. “And… also recognizing that we need to ensure the privacy and dignity and respect of all children and all parents in the school system. And that’s what I think we have… very carefully constructed here.”
The new policy for public schools went into effect on July 19.