Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin is making no apologies for adopting “parental rights” education policies. In fact, he recently doubled down on them.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, the governor voiced his support for new rules regarding transgender students — regulations aimed at empowering parents to make decisions about their own children regarding gender identity. He went on to point out that parents are the ultimate arbiters regarding what they think is best for their children, adding that the regulations empower them.
“[P]arents have a fundamental right to be engaged in their children’s lives,” Youngkin said. “And, oh, by the way, children have a right to have parents engaged in their life. And we needed to fix a wrong…children don’t belong to the state. They belong to families.
“And so, in these most important decisions, step one has to be to engage parents, not to the exclusion of a trusted teacher or an adviser, but to make sure that parents are involved in their children’s lives,” Youngkin continued.
He went on to say that his policies also make room for students if parents decide that allowing their child to identify as a trans identity is best for him or her.
“What we’re not saying is that there is no accommodation,” Youngkin said. “What we’re saying is, parents have to be engaged in that decision. And if a child and their parent, along with administrators and teachers, choose to have accommodations for that child, they will be granted.”
“If parents actually want their child to be able to change a pronoun or their name or use a bathroom, if parents choose that, then, legally, that’s what the schools will do,” he added.
He did say, however, that biological males will be kept out of girls’ sporting competition.
“I do believe that it’s unfair for girls to have biological boys play sports with biological girls. There are sports with segregated — with segregated sexes for those sports. And those — those sports should be honored that way… Again, there’s a commonsense approach here to this. And I do think we have to respect girls as well here,” he told CNN.
"This is not controversial."
Republican @GovernorVA Glenn Youngkin defends a new Virginia school policy requiring students to use bathrooms or join sports teams based on biological sex and not gender identity. @CNNSotu #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/TOYOd00bcp
— CNN (@CNN) October 9, 2022
The Daily Wire adds:
Youngkin introduced the new policy in September after the Virginia Legislature passed a law in 2020 mandating public schools adopt policies consistent with a document created by former Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s administration called Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools.
Youngkin’s administration overhauled the policy guidelines in the document, putting far more emphasis on parents’ rights and involvement, especially as it relates to their child’s gender identity.
Post-election analysis in Virginia determined that Youngkin’s pledge to give back to parents their decision-making authority for their children — whereas his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, said parents should not be making decisions for schools — was the deciding factor in his victory.