In Virginia’s 2021 election cycle, the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and legislature all went Republican – for limited government and parental rights. The record of Governor Glenn Youngkin is solid – tax cuts, restored balance, parent rights. Now comes the crazy reaction.
As promised, Youngkin withdrew public school rules violating constitutional provisions, and issued new “model rules.” He made explicit what most thought already existed, parental authority to guide public education, particularly protecting their girls, Title IX, and safety.
He made explicit the understanding that government’s prerogatives are limited. They do not own children or grandchildren, cannot decide to indoctrinate them with Marxist, racist, or damaging ideas, nor teach what is not age appropriate. They cannot redefine a biologically male child as a girl, secretly teach them to be transgender, or mandate hormone therapies.
The overriding principle in the “model rules” is that parents decide – always with the option of going private or homeschooling – what their kids will learn and how be treated. The Government has no right to push “transformational” ideas on kids, or mandate girls be treated unequally.
It all sounds like common sense, particularly in view of parents distress nationwide, objective biology, laws, and history, but is driven by a stark “left turn” from national teachers’ unions and Democrat leaders. The new rules sound more like what most assumed than innovation.
Youngkin’s approach reflects basic reality: Virginia’s prior administration usurped authorities long assumed by parents not unions or government. They “disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles that significantly impact how schools educate students, including transgender students.”
Accordingly, Youngkin “righted the ship,” since prior guidelines “promoted a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools.” Instead, he returned to sanctify. There are two genders, not 72. “Parents have the right to make decisions with respect to their children” and “policies shall be drafted to safeguard parents’ rights with respect to their child, and to facilitate the exercise of those rights.”
These rights come from the 14th Amendment, giving parents a “fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children.” This, these 2022 “model rules” are in “compliance with non-discrimination law,” and standards for “identification of students,” including transgender students in elementary and secondary schools.
Under the new rules, “sex” means biological sex, and a “transgender student” is “a public-school student whose parent has requested in writing, due to their child’s persistent and sincere belief that his or her gender differs with his or her sex, that their child be so identified while at school.”
The policies could go national, as parents across the country are learning that inappropriate behavior, counseling of young children on gender, gender change advocacy, miseducation, anxiety-creating lessons, and “transformational” sexual identity teaching is not uncommon.
That discovery has created a “flashpoint” across school districts and States, as
left-leaning Democrats push the opposite agenda. The core of the Virginia policies is assuring parents control the safety, privacy, and mental health of their child, not government.
But here comes crazy. In a stunning turn, at least one Virginia Democrat (not countered by any other Democrat) is proposing a law that allows parents to be charged with a crime – “maybe a felony” – for not “affirming” the sexual nature of their child, or apparently advocating for transgenderism if the government things that should be done.
Specifically, “Virginia parents could face a felony or misdemeanor charge if they do not affirm their child’s sexual orientation and gender identity,” if the Democrat bill passes. Youngkin responded: “These same progressives…actually believe they should lock parents out of their children’s lives…They think parents have no right to know what your child is discussing with their teacher or counselor,” and now should sent to prison for not “affirming” whatever sexuality the school or government assesses their child is.
From crazy comedy to tragic absurdity, Democrats are on a dangerous goose chase, their quarry parents. The Virginia debate is over who has rights in a child, and whether the government can criminalize a parent’s decisions on how to raise, support, communicate with, and understand their child’s gender.
The craziness would be Shakespearean in its irony, those unsure of themselves and their own identities drunk on power, demanding they be given power not morally or legally theirs. They aim to strip parents of the right to parent, criminalizing private decisions about educating.
Good news is, since parents protect their children, generally put their child’s welfare above their own, and parents voted swept Youngkin and other level-headed leaders into power – this idea is not likely to become law.
That said, the fact that criminalizing parents for being parents is even discussed by Democrats is shocking and should reinforce – as if we needed it – the critical nature of this year’s midterm elections. Crazy is out there – and will get crazier if not stopped in these midterms.
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