Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin has delivered a major win for the school board parents who helped propel him to victory in 2021. Starting in October, the state's public schools will be required to adhere to a new policy regarding transgender students.
The updated guidance, first reported by the Daily Wire, is rooted in truth, parental rights, and plain ol' common sense.
Transgender students are now only allowed to change their names on official documents with permission from their parents. Students must also demonstrate a "persistent and sincere belief" that they identify as a different gender.
"Overnight travel accommodations,...
Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin has delivered a major win for the school board parents who helped propel him to victory in 2021. Starting in October, the state’s public schools will be required to adhere to a new policy regarding transgender students.
The updated guidance, first reported by the Daily Wire, is rooted in truth, parental rights, and plain ol’ common sense.
Transgender students are now only allowed to change their names on official documents with permission from their parents. Students must also demonstrate a “persistent and sincere belief” that they identify as a different gender.
“Overnight travel accommodations, locker rooms and other intimate spaces used for school-related activities and events shall be based on sex,” the policy also says. “For any athletic program or activity that is separated by sex, the appropriate participation of students shall be determined by sex.”
Previously, the McAuliffe administration, aided by left-wing activists, pushed Virginia’s public schools to “eliminate gender-based practices” for fear of excluding transgender students. This would include nixing long-standing traditions such as father-daughter dances and homecoming kings and queens and allowing transgender students to play on sports teams consistent with their gender identity rather than their biological sex.
These so-called “inclusive” policies, which catered to the tiny fraction of students suffering from gender dysphoria, were actually quite exclusive. When gender lines are blurred, it is usually women who end up suffering. Take a Tennessee high school, which created a “gender-neutral” homecoming court only to award the “royalty” crown to a young man in a dress who declared himself “queen” anyway. Girls competing in track and field in Connecticut found themselves getting smoked in races after the sport was opened up to biological men who identified as women. And who could forget the infamous case of Lia Thomas, the UPenn swimmer who took home a women’s national title despite racing as a man for the first three years of his college career?
These are merely the cases where the results of gender-mixing were unfair. Other times, young women were actually put in danger by these misguided policies. Virginia’s old policy, for example, allowed transgender students to use whichever bathroom they preferred and to share bunks with members of the opposite biological sex during overnight trips. Young women deserve privacy when using the restroom, changing in a locker room, showering in the gym or sleeping. It is vital to their mental health and development to be able to set and enforce boundaries regarding their bodies.
Young women in schools should not have to worry about a biological man invading their privacy. It doesn’t matter if the man truly believes he is a woman, or if he is abusing the system to take advantage of women. Virginia’s old policies were certainly ripe for abuse. They did not require any evidence that a student who identified as transgender was sincere in their belief. They even encouraged students to hide gender transitions from their parents.
“School divisions should accept a student’s assertion of their gender identity without requiring any particular substantiating evidence,” the McAuliffe administration’s policy said.
In 2021, there was a case in Loudoun County that demonstrated the dangers of ignoring bathroom boundaries. A young man who dressed in women’s clothing and identified as “gender-queer” sexually assaulted a young girl in a school bathroom. Terrified that this incident would threaten their “inclusive” trans policies, the Loudoun school board covered up the case and transferred the boy to another school, where he went on to sexually assault another girl. The first victim’s father was arrested when he publicly called out the school board for their behavior. He was later cited in a letter from the National School Boards Association to the Biden administration asking the Department of Justice to treat parents protesting school boards as domestic terrorists.
Youngkin’s new policy regarding transgender students makes clear that he understands the importance of protecting both students and parents. It allows parents to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to their children’s mental and physical health. It recognizes that transgenderism has become a social contagion among youth, and that gender dysphoria usually dissipates with age. It allows girls to have safe spaces. It recognizes that biology matters, in both sports and in life.
Critics are accusing Youngkin of stripping “rights” from transgender students and of falsely campaigning as a moderate. The truth is that Youngkin was completely transparent about wanting to wrest power from schools and give it back to parents. It’s why he won in blue Virginia.