The Amherst County School Board (ACSB) voted against adopting Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s parental rights policy regarding transgender issues in schools Thursday, according to WSET, a local ABC News affiliate.
The Virginia Department of Education released its model policy in July, which focuses on the protection of parental rights and stipulates that sports participation should be based on biological sex while giving parents the ability to choose if their child uses a single-sex bathroom if they are concerned about their “privacy and safety.” The ACSB, however, voted against the policy by a 6-1 decision after Thursday’s board meeting on the subject, according to WSET. (RELATED: Judge Blocks Blue State School District Policy To Hide Pronouns From Parents)
Several members of the county gave public comments on the policy during the board meeting, with three out of five in support of Youngkin’s proposal, according to WSET.
“It strengthens our ability to have respect for all students while giving parents the right to make decisions with respect to their children,” Dawn Pool, a county resident, said.
David Childress, a resident who is running for a school board seat, also supported the new policy and warned the board that if they don’t adopt the governor’s proposal they could risk losing aid from “the school division [and] the Attorney General’s support.” Amherst County Superintendent Dr. William Wells, however, informed the board that it was in the “best interest of the county” to stick with the policy the district currently has, according to WSET.
The district’s current policy was last revised in August 2022 and simply notes that “Amherst County School Board is committed to nondiscrimination with regard to membership in any category protected under federal or Virginia law. This commitment prevails in all of its policies and practices concerning staff, students, educational programs and services, and individuals and entities with whom the Board does business,” according to WSET.
The state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Lisa Coons argued in a statement after the model policy’s release that it is important for schools to be “elevating parents and giving them a seat at the table” on these issues.
“These policies provide families the opportunity to weigh in on their child’s decisions and be a partner in their education,” Coons said.
ACSB, Miyares’ office and Youngkin’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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