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Tipsheet

Virginia Bill Would Require Educators to Contact the Parents of Transgender Students

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

A bill introduced by Virginia lawmakers would require teachers in public schools in the state to contact the parents of students who are “transgender.” 

Virginia’s House Bill 1707 would require instructors to phone the parents of a student if they have “reason to believe” that the student is identifying as a gender that does not align with their biological sex. Reportedly, teachers would need to ask the parents if they are “aware of the student’s mental state” and check if the parents want to seek counseling for their child.

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“Virginia schools have shown nothing but disdain for parents over the past three years. From lying about student safety in public meetings to passing policies that exclude parents from discussions regarding their child’s ‘gender identity,’ Virginia schools have trampled on parental rights,” Alex Nester, an investigative fellow with Parents Defending Education told Townhall. 

“It is immoral, unconscionable, and contrary to state and federal law to hide such crucial elements of a child’s life from his or her parents. This should not even be controversial, regardless of one’s personal stance on gender ideology,” Nester added.

In September, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration released guidance directing school districts to require transgender students to use restrooms, locker rooms, and participate on sports teams that align with biological sex instead of their gender identity. In addition, school staffers are prohibited from “concealing” information about a child’s gender identity from their parents. 

Despite this, some Virginia school districts outside of Washington, D.C. do not plan to comply, based on letters from the schools sent to parents obtained by Townhall. And, several schools saw students stage walkouts in protest of the new policies. 

Over the summer, reports broke revealing that teachers in Fairfax County, Virginia were given training ahead of the 2022-2023 school year that said that teachers do not have to inform parents of students’ gender transitions. At a rally, Youngkin spoke out against this. 

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"They [school officials] think that parents have no right to know what your child is discussing with their teacher or their counselor, particularly when some of the most important topics, most important topics that a child may want to discuss are being determined," Youngkin reportedly said.

"What's their name? What pronoun will they use? How are they going to express their gender? This is a decision that bureaucrats in Fairfax County believe that they should be able to make without telling parents,” he added.

In one of Virginia’s gubernatorial debates in 2021, Youngkin said that he believed parents had a right to 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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