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Youngkin Responds to Backlash Over Transgender Student Policy

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

This week, GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin defended new guidance that requires Virginia schools to require transgender students to use bathroom, locker rooms and participate in sports teams that align with their biological sex instead of their gender identity. 


"Let me begin with these basic principles, which is first, parents have a fundamental right to be engaged in their children's lives. And oh, by the way, children have a right to have parents engaged in their lives,” Youngkin said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper during “State of the Union” on Sunday. 

“We needed to fix a wrong,” the Governor continued. “The previous administration had had a policy that excluded parents and in fact, particularly didn't require the involvement of parents. And let's be clear, parents have this right and children don't belong to the state, they belong to families.”

Youngkin pointed out that Virginia parents have been “empowered” to make decisions previously about their children masking in schools and over curriculum in schools. 


Townhall covered how the guidance also protects parental involvement in education. School districts are instructed against any type of sexual orientation and gender identity curriculum and informed that staffers cannot “conceal” information about trans students from their parents. 

After these policies came out, students in the state, especially in northern Virginia near Washington D.C., staged walkouts to protest the guidance.

And, as Rebecca noted, some Virginia school districts outside of Washington, D.C. do not plan to comply with the policies, based on letters from the schools sent to parents obtained by Townhall.

In Alexandria, Virginia, a letter signed by Mayor Justin Wilson and members of the City Council and obtained by WTOP stated that it will not follow the guidance issued by the commonwealth’s Department of Education. The city leaders argued that the Alexandria Human Rights Code includes protection in educational settings on bases of sexual orientation, gender identity and transgender status, which Townhall covered.


Last year, in the Virginia gubernatorial debate, Youngkin said that he believed parents should be involved in their children’s education. His opponent, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), said “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” Youngkin defeated McAuliffe in the election.

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