In Virginia, Democrats in the state legislature are attempting to eliminate gender-based restrooms in the state’s public schools.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Democratic members of the legislature’s Rules Commission voted by a margin of 5-4 to reject Governor Glenn Youngkin’s (R-Va.) plan to implement protections for gender-based spaces, including locker rooms, bathrooms, and sports teams. Youngkin’s framework would also require school administrators and teachers to get parents’ approval before referring to children by different names or different pronouns than what they were born with.
Democrats in the state have made numerous attempts to block or counter-signal Youngkin’s educational policies, which have put greater freedom and authority in the hands of parents rather than schools. In October, State Delegate Elizabeth Guzman (D-Va.) introduced a bill that would make it a crime for parents to not acknowledge their children’s “preferred pronouns,” as well as different names or different sexual preferences from what they were born as.
However, the commission’s vote was simply a formality with no binding power. Youngkin’s education plan will ultimately be decided upon by the state’s Department of Education, which is run by appointees of Youngkin himself. The Education Department issued a statement saying that it is “in the process of reviewing more than 71,000 public comments” before the final version is announced by the state superintendent.
“Children do not belong to the state,” said Education Secretary Aimee Guidera during testimony before the commission on Monday. “They belong to families.”
Youngkin’s plan is also opposed by the far-left groups Virginia ACLU and Equality Virginia, which have falsely claimed that the framework will create a “hostile” environment for gay students and students who believe they are “transgender.”
The new policy reflects Youngkin’s campaign promises to increase transparency in public education and to give greater power to parents, as education was the cornerstone of his successful 2021 campaign. Education, and particularly public education’s attempted indoctrination of such far-left concepts as Critical Race Theory and transgenderism, fueled the red wave that saw Republicans sweep all three statewide seats, as well as retake control of the Virginia House of Delegates.