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Tipsheet

Virginia Democrats Try to Block Bill Prohibiting Schools From Hiding Students’ Gender Transitions

Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Every single Democrat in the Virginia House of Representatives voted against a bill this week that would make it illegal for teachers in the state to conceal a student’s transgender “gender identity” from their parents. 

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Under Virginia House Bill 2432, also known as “Sage’s Law,” teachers would be required to inform parents if a student requests to move forward with “social transitions” at school, such as going by preferred pronouns and a chosen name. The legislation would also require the school to obtain at least one parent’s permission before implementing anything concerning the child’s “gender incongruence” at school, including counseling, Fox News reported. In addition, the bill clarifies that “child abuse” does not include “misgendering.” The bill passed on Tuesday with one Republican and all 47 Democrats voting against it.

“I am disappointed that all Democrats voted against this common sense bill,” Del. Dave LaRock, a Republican who introduced the bill,  wrote. 

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The legislation is named after “Sage,” a 14-year-old girl who was reportedly sex trafficked twice and sexually assaulted after the state removed her from her parents’ custody to protect her from “misgendering,” a term used to describe referring to someone by pronouns that do not align with their gender identity. Sage reportedly identified as a boy and her school and the state believed that her transgender identity would not be affirmed under her parents’ care. 

According to Fox News, Sage ran away from home in rural Virginia in August 2021 and was found in Baltimore, where she was reportedly rescued from a sex offender. Maryland officials did not return Sage to her family over allegations they “misgendered”  her transgender gender identity. After being held in state institutions, Sage ran away to Texas and was sex trafficked a second time. Texas officials saved Sage and returned her home. 

Previously, Townhall covered that a separate Virginia bill would have required schools to call parents if they have reason to believe that a student is transgender.

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And, 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, the guidance stated that school staffers should be prohibited from “concealing” information about a child’s gender identity from their parents. This came after reports broke that teachers in Fairfax County were given training ahead of the school year that said teachers did not have to inform parents of students’ gender transitions. Youngkin spoke out against the school district at a rally and unveiled the new guidance shortly after.

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