Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin defended his state’s new school transgender policy against CNN anchor Jake Tapper’s claims that it is “excluding” parents of transgender students.
Tapper suggested that the Youngkin administration’s new model policy requiring parents to approve of their transgender child’s accommodations are “excluding parents” who supported the previous guidelines. The new policy requires school districts to notify parents if their child wants to change their name, pronoun and if they desire to use a bathroom aligning with their identity.
The CNN anchor asked Youngin if he spoke with transgender students before implementing these policies after citing a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics saying these laws can increase the risk of depression, anxiety and suicide among transgender youth.
“Let me just back up. What we’re not saying is that there’s no accommodation. What we are saying is parents have to be engaged in that decision and if a child and their parent, along with administrators and teachers, choose to have accommodations for that child, they’ll be granted,” the governor continued. “I would ask people to read the policies.”
“I did read the policy, but it sounds like you’re excluding parents that might be supportive of their child going to the bathroom or joining a sports team that is in alignment with their gender identity,” Tapper said.
The governor argued that if parents and their child agree that a student should change their name or pronoun and use facilities in alignment with their identity, then schools will allow it. He then argued that it is “unfair” for biological males to compete against females. (RELATED: ‘Keep Your Politics Off My Identity’: Here’s What We Saw At Virginia Student Walkouts Over Youngkin’s Trans Policy)
“Again, there’s a commonsense approach here to this,” he said. “I do think we have to respect girls as well here. Our policies were written in order to respect the dignity of all children, their safety and their confidentiality,” Youngkin added. “We’re in a 30 day comment period, then we’re gonna finalize these and then I expect the school districts to adopt something consistent with them.”
An activist group called “The Pride Liberation Project” organized nearly 100 student walkouts in late September over the new policies. Activists claimed that it is “attacking LGBTQIA+ students across Virginia” and “forcibly out transgender and gender expansive students.”