Heritage Expert: More States Should Follow Virginia’s Lead, Strengthen Parental Rights in Schools

Heritage Expert: More States Should Follow Virginia’s Lead, Strengthen Parental Rights in Schools

Sep 20, 2022 1 min read

WASHINGTON—Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Department of Education last week released model policies on education that strengthened and reinforced parental rights in education. These policies were a direct response to recent attempts by extreme school board members and school employees to force radical gender ideology on Virginia school children, and cut parents out of what their children’s education.

Jay Richards, director of the DeVos Center for Life, Religion and Family at The Heritage Foundation, released the following statement in support of Youngkin’s guidance:

“Parents are and will always be their children's primary caregivers. School systems should reinforce these relationships, not interfere with them. What the Virginia Department of Education has proposed as model policy is an excellent first step in the right direction. Despite the hysteria from leftist activists and the media, this modest policy requires parents to be included in decisions that school officials make with respect to young children.

“Far too many school systems around the country—including New Jersey, districts in Kansas, and California—order teachers to hide information about students from their families. Parents and families have a right to know what is happening with their children in school, especially concerning any health information.

“Youngkin’s model policy contains provisions that would protect minor-aged children from radical gender ideology and offers ways in which schools can adopt policies that offer reasonable accommodations for young people who are confused about their sex, while keeping parents informed and involved. More states should work to strengthen parental rights like this—not push parents aside and try to drive wedges between them and their children.

“Virginia is no stranger to this issue. We’ve seen Fairfax County discriminate against families based on ethnicity, even losing in court earlier this year. Furthermore, this school district has also tried to hide publicly available information from parents—materials the parents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act. Together, strong leaders and involved parents can make a difference and take back our children’s education.”

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