Many of you may remember the heartbreaking story of Sage, a high school student at a Richmond, Virginia-area public school. The school kept her parents in the dark when Sage expressed discomfort about her sexual identity. The school encouraged her confusion and gave her online resources to talk to other transgender-identifying individuals. Sage went to meet one of those individuals who said he was 16. Tragically, he was an adult who abducted and sex-trafficked her.
Through the help of our friends at Virginia Family Foundation, Sage was eventually returned to her parents. But Sage’s story should’ve never happened.
Now, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin and his Board of Education took a courageous step to ensure Sage’s story won’t be repeated in schools across Virginia. They just released new model policies for Virginia’s Public Schools. These new model policies safeguard parental rights by requiring schools to allow parents to make decisions about their child’s education and well-being and defer to the family values taught by parents. They specifically protect children from radical transgender ideology by requiring parents be notified if their children express feelings of discomfort about their God-given biological sex and give their written consent before any action is taken by the schools.
The model policies also protect the privacy rights of young girls in school bathrooms and locker rooms and promote fairness in girls’ sports. They require schools designate sex-segregated locations and activities by biological sex, rather than gender identity.
We are thankful to Gov. Youngkin for protecting Virginia’s children by ensuring their parents are involved and removing areas of dangerous transgender ideology from schools. Even as a purple state, Virginia has set an example for the rest of the nation in how to partner with parents at the local level to protect children. Additionally, these policies affirming parental rights and protecting children come at a crucial time, as these will be central issues in both the 2024 presidential election and the 2023 Virginia elections.
To our friends in Virginia:
Please join us and our friends at Virginia Family Foundation in contacting your local school board and encouraging them to support and comply with Gov. Youngkin’s new model policies. Some critical school districts like Virginia Beach are meeting as early as next week to vote on adopting these model policies!
You can encourage them to make the right choice by contacting your local school board members or signing up to speak at your local school board meetings.
For our children,
Joseph Kohm III
Director, Public Policy