ASHLAND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) — A Virginia school board this week approved a new policy to further reaffirm biological reality against transgender ideology. The move comes in spite of backlash from transgender advocates in recent years and a previous ACLU lawsuit accusing the board of discrimination.
The Hanover County School Board permitted proposed revisions to their policy during a Tuesday board meeting, WRIC reported.
Under the new policy revisions, students may only be referred to in school by the pronouns listed in their official records unless a gender-confused student and his or her parent submits a written request.
The revision also makes clear that the district will not “compel staff or students to address or refer to students in any manner that would violate their constitutionally protected rights” and forbids the introduction of any “policy, guidance, training or other written material may encourage or instruct teachers to conceal material information about a student from the student’s parents, including information related to gender,” with a stipulation in the event that a child “is at imminent risk of suicide related to parental abuse or neglect.”
The revised policy further specifies that children are only to participate in the sports and other extracurricular activities that align with their sex, including overnight accommodations.
“For any school programs, events, or activities (including extracurricular activities) that are separated by biological sex, the appropriate participation of students will be determined by biological sex rather than gender or gender identity,” the policy states. “Overnight travel accommodations and other intimate spaces used for school-related activities and events will be arranged based upon the biological sex of the participants.”
Exceptions in favor of gender-confused students “will be permitted only to the extent required by law.”
The board also added the word “biological” to its restroom policy concerning gender-confused students who wish to use “facilities that align with their gender identity [sic] but not their [biological] sex.”
A speaker who weighed in during the Tuesday public comment section called the measures “common sense provisions” that “honor parental oversight and are best for all students,” WRIC reported.
The outlet noted that the board’s decision comes after it passed an earlier policy last summer regulating the use of gender-specific spaces by trans-identifying students.
The regulations, adopted in August 2022, require that gender-confused students obtain written permission to use private spaces including restrooms, locker rooms or changing facilities for the opposite sex, VPM reported.
In response, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Hanover County School Board on behalf of a local mother who said her trans-identifying child was harmed by the new rules.
The lawsuit alleged that the policy ran afoul of state law requiring “all school districts to adopt trans-inclusive policies in conformity with the model policies promulgated thereunder by the Virginia Department of Education.”
Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin has subsequently implemented new guidelines affirming the right of school staff to refer to gender-confused students by their proper pronouns and directing schools to have students use the private facilities that align with their actual sex.
“This is about doing what’s best for the child,” Gov. Youngkin told the Associated Press in July, adding that the new guidelines will help “ensure the privacy and dignity and respect of all children and all parents in the school system.”
And the Virginia school district is far from alone in enforcing policies that honor children’s privacy and biological identity rather than caving to the premises of transgender ideology.
Earlier this month, voters in Ohio elected new representatives who campaigned on overhauling their school district’s policy that allowed students to use whatever facilities aligned with their alleged “gender identity,” LifeSiteNews reported.
A freshman girl who took part in a walkout a day before the vote told WLIO that there have “been multiple accounts of boys coming in the bathroom, or transgender girls [sic], and bothering the girls in there and we’re just not for it.”
She argued that “biological boys need to stay in their own bathroom.”
Critics of policies allowing boys to use girls’ restrooms if they claim transgender status have pointed out that such policies prioritize the preferences of gender-confused individuals over the privacy, safety, and rights of girls and women.
Advocates of policies requiring boys and girls to use facilities corresponding to their actual sex argue that forcing girls and women to share intimate spaces with male strangers violates their privacy rights, subjects them to needless emotional stress, and gives potential male predators a viable pretext to enter female bathrooms or lockers by simply claiming transgender status.
Moreover, the public celebration of divergent attitudes toward gender, including the widespread use of pronouns that do not reflect a person’s true identity, have coincided with skyrocketing rates of children and young adults claiming identification with a “gender” that does not match their biological sex.
LifeSiteNews has extensively reported that children across the country are being actively encouraged in the culture and their classrooms to adopt “transgender,” “gender fluid,” or “non-binary” identities, a phenomenon that has occurred alongside a marked increase in transgender identification and surgical and chemical mutilation of children and young people.
Aware of the alarming trend, conservative-minded parents, lawmakers, and school boards have responded by working to require schools to notify families of a child’s gender confusion, pull sexually explicit and pro-LGBT curricula and materials from classrooms and school libraries, protect girls’ sports and spaces, and ban sexualized performances targeting children.