Pro-Family Women strongly supports Governor Youngkin’s revised Model Policies of dealing with “transgender” issues in Virginia schools.
The previous 2021 Model Policies sanctioned the dividing of children against their parents, and infringed on parental rights. They even went so far as to openly instruct schools on how to keep a child’s parents in the dark. In contrast, the proposed 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for all Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools show greater respect for all students and reinforces the primary role of parents in the education of their children.
When one considers the influence of the internet and peer contagion, it is alarming that the 2021 Model Policies, issued under the previous administration, allowed students themselves to be the arbiters of their identity at school. Regardless of maturity and most likely lacking full knowledge of what they were doing, students could call the shots – they could announce their new identity without any substantiating evidence, they could choose which pronouns they wanted to be addressed by, they could enter the corresponding locker room – and all without the student’s parents’ knowledge if the student so requested.
The previous 2021 Model Policies even instructed school divisions that they may develop a plan whereby personnel use the student’s legal name and sex-related pronouns when communicating with the student’s parents but address the student with a different name and pronouns at school.
Policies that drive a wedge in the relationship between a child and his or her parents, causing alienation, are not in the best interests of any children, much less children who are expressing a new and rapid onset of gender dysphoria.
In contrast, the newly proposed 2022 Model Policies protect parental rights by requiring the commonsense approach of a written instruction from a parent if a child wants to be addressed by a new name and pronouns. Counseling regarding gender dysphoria cannot take place without notifying the child’s parents and giving the parents an opportunity to be involved. A school division should never have a written policy that encourages or instructs teachers to keep gender-related information from parents, and the new Model Policies make that clear.
Pro-Family Women further appreciates that the 2022 Model Policies do not compel school personnel and students to address students using language that violates their constitutional rights, and that the use of locker rooms and overnight travel accommodations shall be based on biological sex, except as required by federal law.
Governor Youngkin’s 2022 Model Policies are a commonsense approach. They call for compassion, reasonable accommodations, protect all students, and ensure that parents are informed.