Two bishops of Virginia, Barry Knestout and Michael Burbidge, have expressed their approval and support for the new parental rights and transgender school policies implemented by Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin. The newly released policies, which came out last month, emphasize the importance of parents’ rights and oversight when their children are enrolled in public schools. According to the policies, schools must ensure that rules are drafted to protect parents’ rights concerning their children and should facilitate the exercise of such rights. Schools are also mandated to keep parents closely informed about their children’s well-being while attending school. Furthermore, the policies affirm that the decision regarding whether a child can embrace a “transgender” identity, including identifying and dressing as the opposite sex, rests with the parents and not the schools.
Catholic News Agency reports:
The two bishops of Virginia have praised the new transgender and parental rights school policies recently implemented by Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, calling them a “considerable improvement” and a “much needed” change to earlier state education guidelines.
The new policies, released last month, affirmed that parents will maintain the right to considerable oversight of their children while they are enrolled in public schools. The state also addressed several key questions related to school policies regarding transgender-identifying students.
The model policies stipulate that school rules “shall be drafted to safeguard parents’ rights with respect to their child and to facilitate the exercise of those rights.” Schools are ordered to keep parents closely abreast of their children’s well-being while in school.
The rules further affirm that parents, not schools, will decide if their child is permitted to indulge in a “transgender” identity, including dressing and identifying as the opposite sex.
Students will also be broadly expected to “use bathrooms that correspond to [their] sex,” settling another contentious dispute surrounding children who claim to be the opposite sex.
In their joint statement, Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout and Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge called the rules “a considerable improvement and much-needed remediation of the policies put in place by the prior administration” of Democrat Ralph Northam.
“The new policies enhance transparency for parents and restore their primary role in the education, care, and health of their children,” the prelates wrote.
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