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Youngkin’s Crusade To Get Radical Gender Theory Out Of Virginia Schools Puts Kids And Families First


BY: CASEY CHALK | SEPTEMBER 20, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/09/20/youngkins-crusade-to-get-radical-gender-theory-out-of-virginia-schools-puts-kids-and-families-first/

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Last week, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin further delivered on his gubernatorial campaign promise to give parents more control over their children’s education. The Virginia Department of Education issued new model policies specifically directed at resisting the radical gender ideology that has become commonplace even in the Commonwealth’s elementary schools.

The New Model Policies

Virginia’s new model policies explicitly state that students’ participation in school programming and use of school facilities such as bathrooms or locker rooms should be based on their biological sex and that modifications should be offered only to the extent required under federal law. They also assert that students who are minors must be referred to by the name and pronouns in their official records unless there is explicit parental approval for the use of something else. And they also declare that schools may not conceal information about a student’s so-called gender identity from his or her parents and that parents must be given the opportunity to object before any gender-related counseling services are offered.

The document reads: “Parents have the right to instill in and nurture values and beliefs for their own children and make decisions concerning their children’s education and upbringing in accordance with their customs, faith, and family culture.” In a rebuke to those officials and administrators who have encouraged wrongly named gender-affirming “care,” it explains: “Parents are in the best position to work with their children and, where appropriate, their children’s health care providers.”

The new model policies are subject to a 30-day period for public comment that begins later this month. Following that period, in accordance with a 2020 state law, school boards across the Old Dominion must adopt policies that are “consistent with” those of the state’s Department of Education. Macaulay Porter, a spokeswoman for Youngkin, noted that the updated guidance “delivers on the governor’s commitment to preserving parental rights and upholding the dignity and respect of all public school students.”

A Personal Anecdote

I can personally speak to how widespread the promotion of gender ideology has become, at least in Fairfax County, where I attended school for 12 years and then worked as a high-school history teacher. The very day after Virginia’s Department of Education issued this new guidance, my family attended a picnic in our neighborhood. My two eldest children (ages 9 and 7) were playing a game with other neighborhood kids, including, a bit awkwardly, a teenage girl who attends the local public high school. During the game, and when my wife and I were not nearby to overhear, this teenager told my children that she identifies as both a girl and a boy and that there are “72 genders.”

My wife and I homeschool our children. It wasn’t something I was eager to do — my extended family has been attending county public schools since the 1960s, and I was proud of my experience in FCPS 20 years ago. But I knew things had changed very dramatically in the last two decades, and I wanted to shield my children from ideas and behaviors that are not commensurate with their maturity. Simply put, prepubescent children don’t need seminars in gender fluidity and sexual experimentation. But over this past weekend, an FCPS-educated teenager took it upon herself to impart those ideas to my children.

As confusing as this was for my children — and as upsetting as it was to my wife and me — I do not level much blame at this teenager for taking away part of their innocence and forcing us to have conversations with our children about gender and sex we had been hoping to delay just a few more years. I blame FCPS teachers and administrators who welcomed this gender ideology in schools. And I blame smartphones and social media for proliferating these ideas with little parental oversight.

Protecting Our Children

Left-wing corporate media and Democratic politicians, of course, have been quick to attack Youngkin over his new policy. “Virginia has moved to restrict the rights of trans students in its public schools,” reads a mid-September headline from NPR. The Department of Education’s guidance “calls for the misgendering and outing of children in schools where they’re supposed to be safe. Absolutely shameful,” tweeted Virginia Democratic Del. Mike Mullin

Think about the fact that in my kids’ very first interaction with a public school-educated teenager, she couldn’t help but share the confused, biologically inaccurate gender ideology she has been wrongly told is the most important part of her identity. That speaks to the pervasive nature and aggressiveness of this ideology and its adherents. Think about how many kids have had their lives thrown into chaos by adults who tell them they may be a boy in a girl’s body, “gender fluid,” or some other nonsense that may very well cause them permanent physical and emotional damage.

Thankfully, our kids trust their parents enough and have a solid enough understanding of what makes boys different from girls that we could have a brief, open, and hopefully instructive conversation about what they experienced on a neighborhood playground. Youngkin’s edict aims to ensure those conversations happen in the home, guided by loving parents, and less influenced by the confused ideology of bureaucrats who don’t have your children’s best interests at heart.


Casey Chalk is a senior contributor at The Federalist and an editor and columnist at The New Oxford Review. He has a bachelor’s in history and master’s in teaching from the University of Virginia and a master’s in theology from Christendom College. He is the author of The Persecuted: True Stories of Courageous Christians Living Their Faith in Muslim Lands.

War On Parents: Male Teacher Asked This Mom’s 11-Year-Old ‘Transgender’ Daughter to Sleep in Boys’ Cabin


BY: KELSEY BOLAR | AUGUST 10, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/08/10/war-on-parents-male-teacher-asked-this-moms-11-year-old-transgender-daughter-to-sleep-in-boys-cabin/

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At the beginning of the school year in 2019, Jennifer received an email from her daughter’s 5th-grade teacher. The teacher, a male, was using a different name for her then-10-year-old daughter. Jennifer thought it was a mistake. The teacher must have accidentally emailed the wrong parent. But then, Jennifer went to her daughter’s room and found a yellow Post-It note stuck to her dresser with that same name, along with the pronouns “they/them.”

“Do you have a new nickname?” Jennifer asked.

Her daughter responded yes.

Jennifer didn’t think much of it beyond harmless identity exploration. But a couple of months later, Jennifer received a more concerning call from a school counselor informing her that her daughter had used the words “suicide” and “cutting” with a friend. The counselor recommended her daughter start seeing a therapist who was contracted with the school. That therapist was free to use, accessible during school hours, and qualified to handle her daughter’s mental health problems, Jennifer was told. Worried about her daughter, Jennifer said yes. But because her daughter was only 10 at the time, Jennifer would have to go into the school and give written permission.

Jennifer lives in a suburb of Washington state, where children as young as 13 years old can access their own medical and mental health services without parental knowledge or consent. Parents in these cases are billed by insurance companies with no explanation of benefits, meaning they’re stuck with the tab but have no ability to know what services or treatments their child received.

When consenting for her daughter to see the school therapist, Jennifer made sure to tell the therapist that her daughter had been talking about her sexuality and gender identity. She shared that while she and her husband believed their daughter was too young to be exploring these ideas, they’d “love her no matter where she ends up.” The therapist made no mention of her own views on the subject or her affirmation-based treatment model where, if a child declares he or she is transgender or non-binary, the therapist would affirm the child’s stated identity.

So, for two and a half months, Jennifer’s daughter was meeting with a school therapist once a week who was treating her as a boy, using male pronouns and a made-up name. When Jennifer would ask how the sessions were going, the therapist acted as though nothing big had come up.

‘Coming Out’

Then in February 2020, right before COVID-19 hit, Jennifer received a phone call from the school therapist with a two-fold purpose: to request that she and her husband come to the school in three days for a meeting where the therapist would assist their daughter in officially coming out to them as a boy, and to obtain parental permission to allow her daughter to stay overnight in the boy’s cabin for an upcoming school trip.

Sensing the meeting wouldn’t go well — and worse, would set them up in an adversarial position with the daughter they loved — Jennifer and her husband called it off.

“We were never going to let her do that, I don’t care who she thinks she is,” Jennifer said. “There are so many reasons not to put a girl in a cabin with a bunch of boys and a male adult teacher. So many safeguarding fails.”

At that point, Jennifer and her husband decided to take more drastic measures. They were skeptical that their 11-year-old daughter was transgender and believed the school and the therapist were actually leading her to identify as a boy. So, they revoked their consent for their daughter to see the school therapist, took away her access to online devices, and soon, unenrolled her from public school altogether.

“I already knew I couldn’t trust the school with my daughter when she was in fifth grade,” Jennifer said. “And going onto the middle school, she would be turning 13. And then I wouldn’t even know. They wouldn’t have to tell me what was going on.”

Identifying as a Boy

Jennifer’s daughter first identified as transgender when she was 10 years old and enrolled in an online drawing program. Prior to that, Jennifer and her husband had restricted their daughter’s access to online devices. But since their daughter was an artist, they agreed to what they thought was a harmless online art program.

Yet, a year and a half later, Jennifer learned it was through that group of online art friends that her daughter was introduced to ideas of sexuality and gender.

“She talked about being asexual at 10 years old,” Jennifer said. “Which of course she’s asexual at 10 years old. But that’s an identity.” She then talked about being demi sexual, gay, non-binary, and finally landed on transgender.

The transgender identity was heightened when her daughter began conversing with a group of girls at school who, at ages 10 and 11 years old, also identified as some form of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. The friends appeared to compete over who could have the edgiest, most unique identity.

“She was trying to fit in. She was trying to have friends,” Jennifer said.

Once her daughter was out of school and no longer communicating online with peers who valued queer identities, her transgender identity lost its importance. Slowly, Jennifer said, her daughter started to let it go.

‘Wasn’t Making Her Happy’

“Her mood changed drastically,” Jennifer said. Identifying as transgender “wasn’t making her happy.”

Since giving up on being transgender, Jennifer has talked with her daughter about everything that happened over the year and a half she spent exploring identifying as a boy. After repeated unanswered requests, Jennifer also obtained notes from the school therapist, which confirmed her suspicion that the therapist was encouraging her daughter’s transition behind her back.

“I was so upset because [the school therapist] was using male pronouns for my daughter from the first moment, from the first notes,” Jennifer said. “He, him. And it seemed like all that she was doing with my daughter was helping her advocate for herself whenever somebody ‘misgendered’ her.”

This included Jennifer’s older two sons, who didn’t even know their sister was identifying as a boy. It also included a boy at the school who Jennifer said got in trouble for “misgendering” her daughter.

“At the school, they’re not just affirming and encouraging my daughter in this delusion,” Jennifer said. “It’s deluding other kids too. They are teaching kids to deny their own sense perceptions.”

More recently, Jennifer felt enough time had passed that she could ask about the idea of staying in the boy’s overnight cabin for three nights without feeling embarrassed or self-conscious.

Jennifer’s daughter told her, “That wasn’t my idea. That was the school’s idea. My teacher asked me.”

“Kids want to please adults,” Jennifer said. “My daughter felt she had to answer yes.”

After that incident, Jennifer said her daughter, who is now 13, decided she didn’t want to go on the 5th-grade overnight trip. Though it wasn’t then, it’s now clear to her why.

‘Going to War Together’

Jennifer feels betrayed by educators, therapists, doctors, and liberal politicians whom she spent a lifetime supporting. That list includes President Joe Biden, who told parents in March that affirming their child’s transgender identity is “one of the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy.”

“A lot of people think that using the pronouns and affirming a child who says they’re the opposite sex, that that is about kindness,” she said, explaining:

Everybody’s very confused about this. Because the T has purposefully been attached to LGB, which is a completely separate issue. We know the LGB community was mistreated, and so people don’t want to do that again with trans-identified people, so everybody’s being super careful, and they want to be kind. But it’s a different situation. With LGB people, they’re saying, ‘Just let us be who we are.’ And there’s no medical consequences.

But with transgender-identified people or people who identify as the opposite sex, it’s very much a medical situation and it’s about the harm medicalization causes. Children are cutting off their healthy breasts and testicles and doing things to their bodies that they can’t undo. So that is completely different. Of course parents are concerned when their children identify this way because it carries a heavy medical burden which they will have for the rest of their life. They become sewn to the medical industrial complex. They will have to take drugs. They will probably have to have other surgeries. We don’t even know all the health consequences at this point. It’s an experiment happening right now on children.

In the past, most parents followed the watchful waiting approach. Children were not medically or socially transitioned, and the vast majority became comfortable with their sex when they went through puberty. Today, parents are being told that affirmation is the only acceptable response to a transgender declaration. Jennifer’s story is just one example of how there is another possible outcome if a child is not affirmed.

“They might desist,” she said. “Isn’t that preferable to a lifetime of harmful medical procedures?”

For more from IWF’s Identity Crisis series, click here.

Editor’s note: Last names have not been used to protect a minor’s privacy.


Kelsey Bolar is a contributor to The Federalist and a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum. She is also the Thursday editor of BRIGHT, a weekly newsletter for women, and the 2017 Tony Blankley Chair at The Steamboat Institute. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, daughter, and Australian Shepherd, Utah.

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