Thousands of Virginia citizens have spoken out against a controversial policy that takes away students' right to privacy – and it appears they were heard … at least for now.
A mandated transgender policy for all K-12 schools in Virginia was originally slated to take effect yesterday (Thursday, February 4), but it was delayed after a majority of the Virginians who spoke to it in public comments Wednesday night voiced their opposition.
"There were 9,000 Virginians who commented on these policies – and 2-to-1 they opposed the kind of policies that deceive parents," says Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia. "Thankfully, our law does say if guidelines are issued and any of the comments that are given during that period actually say that these are unlawful – which these are unlawful, they do violate other state laws – then there has to be a 30-day delay for the Department of Education to respond and, we hope, adjust the policy."
Pointing to the policies, Cobb says the expectation is for parents and students to, for example, "turn over their bodily privacy rights in order to accommodate this gender confusion."
"There is just so much harm that happens in a school," adds Cobb.
A video statement from Cobb (see below) also includes a mother of students in the Hanover area who has personal experience with her daughter losing the right to privacy at school.
"My daughter does attend public schools, and she's currently in a state where her body is changing and she is maturing into a young woman. And like most girls, she wants to be modest and maintain that modesty," says Sarah Via. "She also wants to be able to choose when a biological male can see her body.
"Why is it okay for biological males and school administrators to take this choice away from her?"
Also appearing alongside Cobb is Peter Vlaming, a high school teacher who was fired at West Point High School, just east of Richmond, for not using someone's preferred pronouns.
"It would be one thing if the guidance were suggesting true tolerance, asking teachers to respect differing views on gender – but that's not what this is," says Vlaming. "It's saying there is only one view on gender and everyone must adopt and advocate that specific view."
"Tolerance is supposed to be a two-way street – and in this case that's not what is going on," adds Vlaming.
Victoria Cobb advises that parents – not just those in the Commonwealth of Virginia – pay attention to these issues. "Parents across the country needs to stand guard and be a watchful eye for what's happening in your locality," she urges.