Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has issued new proposed guidelines that focus on parental rights over issues like whether students can socially transition their gender at school.
The guidelines change ones put in place by Democrats and former Governor Ralph Northam, which allowed students to specify gender pronouns and nicknames to schools without consulting parents or letting them know about the changes.
“Parents have the right to make decisions with respect to their children: Policies shall be drafted to safeguard parents’ rights with respect to their child, and to facilitate the exercise of those rights,” the “guiding principles” section of the new policy stated.
The policy said further, “Parents have the right to instill in and nurture values and beliefs for their own children” and “schools shall defer to parents to make the best decisions with respect to their children.”
The policy strongly sides with parents and affirms their ability to make decisions about social transitioning.
Parents are in the best position to work with their children … to determine (a) what names, nicknames, and/or pronouns, if any, shall be used for their child by teachers and school staff while their child is at school, (b) whether their child engages in any counseling or social transition at school that encourages a gender that differs from their child’s sex, or (c) whether their child expresses a gender that differs with their child’s sex while at school.
The number of people whose gender dysphoria has persisted into adulthood and led to a gender transition has historically been a very small number, less than one percent of the total population and 10% or less of those who say as children and teens that they are experiencing gender dysphoria.
Because of this tendency, some parents do not want to encourage a premature transition that students may later regret.
When schools circumvent parents’ rights in this area, they cause massive confusion for many students and may push students toward decisions and behaviors that can have long-term consequences.
Parent Defending Education President Nicole Neily said that gender issues are a top concern of parents they hear from, regardless of political affiliation.
In other words, parents affiliated with both political parties think schools are going too far in trying to force their beliefs on students and cut parents out of the equation.
“Today, Virginia has shown that it is listening to parents through its new proposed guidelines, and we are grateful for their responsiveness,” Neily said.