Written by Hudson Crozier
In a nutshell: Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Department of Education published new regulations that remove various gender identity protections in Virginia schools. Starting October 27, students will only have access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams based on biological sex. Teachers and school officials may not refer to students by a different name or set of pronouns or in any way “transition” them without parental consent.
What’s different: The state previously allowed students to use private facilities and join activities corresponding with their chosen gender identity. Schools decided “on a case-by-case basis” whether to inform parents if their child adopted a new identity because some children “may not want their parents to know.” Youngkin’s administration grants more parental oversight, urging schools to “respect parents’ values and beliefs” and “defer” to them for decision-making regarding their children.
Why is this happening? Youngkin campaigned on restoring parental authority in schools, pushing back against mask mandates, sexually explicit books, critical race theory, and more. Gender ideology became a particularly hot issue after a Loudon County school tried to cover up sexual assault by a male student in girls’ bathrooms. Youngkin capitalized on the resulting outrage toward progressivism in schools and is now fulfilling key policy promises.