Thousands of VA Students Protest Policy Requiring Boys To Use Boy’s Bathroom

virginia students protest
Screenshot: NBC4 Washington Twitter

You’d think after the National Report Card showed that American students lost 20 years of educational progress in two years of shutdowns and parents pulling their children from public school enrollments at an alarming rate, school administrators and special interest groups would get the message.

Kids need to be in school to get a quality education that includes math, literacy, science, and history.

Instead, we saw in my home state of Virginia students walking out of class in what many applaud as a statement of political activism. What are these students protesting, you might ask?

The requirement that teachers use a student’s legal name, activities such as sports and going to the bathroom being separated by boys and girls, and parents being involved in significant life-changing decisions for their child.

Oh, the humanity.

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How Dare He!

Governor Glenn Youngkin was the poster child for the parental rights movement, running on bringing back advanced courses and overall sanity to the public education system in Virginia. Something he’s been known for is delivering on his promises, and the most recent kerfuffle in liberal northern Virginia is proof.

This week, the action that has the affluent left in NoVA wrapped around the axle is the ‘Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for all Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools.’

While not particularly catchy, the title speaks for itself, and it’s hard to find fault with something that advocates for privacy, dignity, and respect.

Yet here we are; yesterday, an estimated 1,000 students walked out of Virginia middle and high schools in response to the policy that reverses the former administration’s policies.

The guidelines in this new model policy require students to use restrooms, pronouns, and names based on their official school records.

It also requires sports teams to be separated by sex and tightens the parental notification requirements for schools.

So, naturally, Governor Youngkin has brought about the end of days.


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School Is For Activism

Yesterday’s walkouts were spearheaded by an LGBTQ advocacy nonprofit, Pride Liberation Project. The group organized the walkout across approximately 100 schools in Virginia. Nicole Neily, President of Parents Defending Education, said of the walkouts:

“For me, this is clear: the Virginia Democrats are coordinating using high school kids to push their agenda.”

She may be right. At least one teacher in Alexandria sent an email to their students encouraging them to walk out, stating, “come show your support” for the LGBTQIA+ community.

I’m not sure it’s a good look to have teachers emailing students encouraging (or perhaps more accurately described as pressuring) students into political activism. What exactly is the purpose of education again? Is it to arm the future leaders of America to be competitive academically with the rest of the world?

It doesn’t appear to be because if it were, students would be encouraged to stay in school to catch up on all that learning loss instead of walking out of school.

From The Mouths Of Babes

High School student Catherine Knecht said of Governor Youngkin’s policy that it is “prioritizing the parents’ will over the child.”

I’ll be frank, that kind of seems like the point and what nature intended. Children are not adults.

Youngkin spokeswoman Macaulay Porter was busy yesterday, and stated:

“The guidelines make it clear that when parents are part of the process, schools will accommodate the requests of children and their families. Parents should be a part of their children’s lives…”

Again, it seems pretty obvious to me. As a parent of two, I am responsible for my children’s well-being in all physical, emotional, mental, and social domains.

So naturally, it makes sense that in no circumstance should a government institution funded by my tax dollars keep anything from me regarding my child. Or does it?

Miss Knecht responded to this statement saying the Youngkin administration is using this as a:

“…cover of parental rights to push a political agenda through schools. The main purpose of schools is to educate and keep students safe.”

Ah, there it is; the purpose of schools is to educate and keep students safe. And schools have been doing a bang-up job of that so far.

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Common Sense

We seem to have abandoned all sense of reason and reality lately, and I’m not sure we will ever be able to make it back. For example, an argument that is made often is that if public schools are not allowed to keep transgender kids’ desire to be transgender from their parents and if they aren’t allowed to let them use the restrooms, lockers, and sports for the gender they identify with, then those kids are in danger.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want any child to be in danger, but keeping parents out of the equation and disregarding the safety, privacy, and rights of non-transgender kids is not the answer.

One merely needs to recall the Loudoun County Public School controversy that entailed a what may or may not be a ‘gender fluid’ boy wearing a skirt sexually assaulting a girl in a girl’s restroom and the subsequent alleged cover-up by school administrators.

Yet here we are, with kids walking out of school protesting this obvious fact instead of sitting in classrooms, you know…learning.

A Losing Strategy

Last year, the nation was rocked by Glenn Youngkin, Winsome Sears, and Jason Miyares, elected Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General in Virginia. Three Republicans in a state that arguably was turning more blue than purple over the years.

Democrats were long known as the parents’ party, but that has since shifted. It’s not just Virginia that has seen education as one of the top issues in the state; Florida has made waves of its own with Governor DeSantis’ Parental Rights Bill, otherwise falsely monikered the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

Additionally, 18 states have put forth legislation to protect girls’ sports by prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in sports that don’t match their biological sex.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre said of the new Virginia policy that the President:

“…believes transgender youth should be allowed to be able to go to school freely, to be able to express themselves freely, to be able to have the protections that they need to be who they are.”

The problem is the White House and the Democratic Party doesn’t believe that all youth should have those same protections. Governor Youngkin put it plainly:

“It’s not a controversial idea that when a child is dealing with very important decisions, that their parents should be involved in those decisions.”

Obviously, nor is it controversial that biological boys should participate in activities and utilize facilities meant for biological boys. Amazing that this concept might be the new winning tagline in future elections.

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USAF Retired, Bronze Star recipient, outspoken veteran advocate. Hot mess mom to two monsters and wife to equal parts... More about Kathleen J. Anderson

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