This week, GOP Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin fired back at school districts in Northern Virginia that will not follow his administration’s guidance on transgender students.
To recap, Townhall previously covered how Virginia’s Department of Education updated its model policies regarding transgender students, despite outcry from LGBTQ+ advocates. Going forward, schools in the state are supposed to address students by their name and sex listed on their official record. Teachers and other staff members are forbidden from referring to a student by different names and pronouns unless a parent requests the change in writing. Students are required to use school facilities matching the sex on their record.
Despite this, some school districts have indicated they will not follow the guidance.
“The law is very clear that I issue model policies and local school districts have to adopt policies consistent with the model policies. And I would add to the fact that this is common sense," Youngkin said in an interview with Fox News on Monday.
"We are very straightforwardly saying that first, parents are in charge of their children's lives. The kids don't belong to the state. They belong to parents and to families, and they have the ultimate say in decisions that that child is going to make with a parent, not with a bureaucrat,” he added.
This is a parent moment, not a political moment. Today, parents in Virginia are empowered because they are in charge of their children’s lives not bureaucrats. pic.twitter.com/6txzld2EQX— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) August 22, 2023
“Parents are legally – and morally – responsible for their minor children,” Nicki Neily, the president of parental rights organization Parents Defending Education, said. “Why is that so difficult for *publicly funded* school districts to accept?”
Parents are legally — and morally — responsible for their minor children.— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) August 22, 2023
Why is that so difficult for *publicly funded* school districts to accept?https://t.co/lOWGqMLBcl
Last week, Townhall reported how Fairfax County Public Schools announced that “transgender and gender expansive” students will continue to be addressed by their chosen name and preferred pronouns, will be allowed to participate in activities, school trips and access facilities that align with their gender identity instead of their biological sex, and will continue to “have their privacy” regarding their “gender expansive or transgender status.”
🚨Fairfax County Public Schools just told parents that they will be defying @GovernorVA’s final guidance that directed schools to abide by the names and pronouns listed on students’ official records unless parents officially request otherwise.— Nicki Neily (@nickineily) August 15, 2023
FCPS keeps undermining parents. pic.twitter.com/ZwptvmeyEm
In addition, Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) released a statement stating that it would protect the “rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students.”
In Youngkin’s interview with Fox, he explained that parents across all political ideologies want their rights protected.
"These are parents who are frustrated with the fact that the dignity and the safety and the privacy of all children and families is not being ensured by the old policies that pushed parents out of their children's lives," Youngkin explained. "And this is exactly what we saw in Loudoun County, where, in fact, it became a true groundswell. I mean, ground zero of the parent’s movement. And now we're seeing it in Fairfax County and others. This is a parent moment, not a political moment. And they will, in fact, comply with the law and stop thinking that they know more than parents."