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On the horizon: parental rights at risk

First slide

The Catholic Herald’s discussion of Virginia’s new transgender student policies in its article on the Equality Act was timely. Short of success in court to stop this, school boards across the state will begin adopting policies consistent with that coming out of Richmond by the 2021-22 school year.

Virginia’s guidance violates parental rights on one of the most intimate and crucial roles of a parent —their child’s identity as a girl or boy. This guidance allows public schools to support the decision of a child (as young as kindergarten) to adopt a new "gender identity" at school without the parents’ knowledge. Teachers will address the child by the child’s new name and pronouns, and the child will be free to enter the bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite sex.

What could be more devastating to a parent than to find out that their child’s school has been implicitly conveying to their child that God made a mistake when he created the child’s sex? To find out that the school has, unbeknownst to the parents, been affirming the new "Sam," and thereby repudiating the original "Susie," the girl that the parents have loved dearly from the time she was in her mother’s womb.

The guidance states: "If a student is not ready or able to safely share with their family about their gender identity, this should be respected. There are no regulations requiring school staff to notify a parent or guardian of a student’s request to affirm their gender identity … "

Virginia’s Department of Education justifies this secrecy, if a child does not want his or her parents to know, on the grounds that disclosure may "pose imminent safety risks, such as losing family support or housing." But parents shouldn’t be excluded based on a subjective assumption that they would do harm.

Students will be the arbiter of their transgender status, since the guidance makes clear that no substantiating evidence is required.

These model policies were the basis for the proposed policy that teacher Tanner Cross spoke against before the Loudoun County School Board, only his address concerned a different aspect — the potential impact on the religious beliefs of teachers. Two lawsuits are pending in court challenging the legality of these model policies put forth by the Virginia Department of Education.

Parents must monitor this issue closely.

Muskett, an attorney, is president of Pro-Family Women.

Read more

Pro-Family Women has more information at tinyurl.com/ekv6spvb.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021