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Parents sue school board for rejecting Youngkin's policies restricting gender ideology
Virginia Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Parents sue school board for rejecting Youngkin's policies restricting gender ideology

Two parents recently filed a lawsuit against a Virginia school board after it failed to adopt Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin's model policies protecting parental rights and restricting gender ideology in the classroom.

Last week, two mothers sued the Virginia Beach School Board for breaking state law after it voted in August against a resolution introduced by school board member Vicki Manning to adopt the governor's model policies.

"A majority of the VA Beach School Board failed to support my resolution which would have put us in compliance with the law," Manning told WVEC. "I'm glad there are parents willing to take a stand and protect children and hold the board accountable."

The governor's policies were introduced in 2022 and enacted in July. The guidelines require school administrators to address students by their legal names and biological pronouns unless instructed otherwise by the child's parents. School staff must also inform parents if their child has requested to change gender. Additionally, students must use the restroom and locker room facilities that align with their biological sex.

The parents accused the school board of "ignor[ing] the rights of Virginia parents to make basic decisions about the education and well-being of their children," according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by Forbes.

The mothers claimed that the district's current policies allow trans-identifying students to use the restroom of their preference and that its policies "threaten (anyone with) punishment for intentionally refusing to affirm gender transition."

"Plaintiffs ... are both parents of Virginia Beach public school students who want to protect their children from being compelled to use biologically inaccurate names and pronouns, forced to use bathrooms and locker rooms with members of the opposite sex, or required to pretend during athletic competition that gender identity can override the enduring physical differences between boys and girls," the lawsuit stated.

Clark Hildabrand, the attorney representing the parents, told WVEC, "This is something that dozens of parents in VB are concerned about the policies of the Virginia Beach School Board."

"Students are being intimidated that if they don't use preferred pronouns that they could be subject to harassment or bullying allegations simply for not accepting the idea that a boy could become a girl or a girl could become a boy. There is also concern that biological boys could use a girls' restroom or try out for a girls' athletic team," he added.

Youngkin stated that he is "proud" of the two parents for "standing up for their children and for kids" by filing the lawsuit against the school board.

"I firmly believe that there is no other decision for school boards than to adopt the model policies or policies that are consistent with the model policy," he told WVEC.

The school board stated it could not comment on pending litigation but is "working as a board to reach consensus on the Model Policies."

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