News
Featured Image
Virginia capitol building in Richmond, VirginiaShutterstock

RICHMOND (LifeSiteNews) – The Virginia Senate has passed a bill that would mandate parental notification for sexually explicit school content and allow parents to demand non-explicit material.

The majority-Democrat chamber approved the legislation, SB 656, in a 20-18 vote Wednesday. Two Democrats, Sens. Lynwood Lewis and Monty Mason, joined Republicans to pass the bill. Republican Sen. Mark Obenshain did not vote.

SB 656 requires public schools to notify parents of any instructional material that includes sexually explicit content and allow parents to review it. The legislation also requires schools to provide alternative, non-explicit material to any student upon a parent’s request.


The bill tasks Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) with developing model policies on parental notification for school boards by no later than July. “Each school board shall adopt policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than the model policies developed by the Department,” according to the bill.

School boards have until January 1, 2023 to implement the new policies.

The bill now heads to the Virginia House of Delegates, where is it widely expected to pass. Republicans took back control of the Virginia House in November, and a House committee has advanced HB 1009, a companion bill to SB 656.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has made the two bills a priority for his administration, including them on his “Day One” legislative agenda.

Education emerged as voters’ top issue in the Virginia elections last year, amid parental backlash against Critical Race Theory, sexualized, often pro-LGBT school material, and reports of numerous sexual assaults by homosexual and “gender fluid” students that helped propel the GOP to victory in all statewide races. Republicans had not won statewide in Virginia since 2009.

Youngkin campaigned on a platform that emphasized parents rights’ in education. His poll numbers steadily climbed after Democratic nominee and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe declared in a September debate that, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

SB 656 is similar to bipartisan legislation passed by Virginia lawmakers in 2016 that McAuliffe vetoed as governor.

Comments

Commenting Guidelines
LifeSiteNews welcomes thoughtful, respectful comments that add useful information or insights. Demeaning, hostile or propagandistic comments, and streams not related to the storyline, will be removed.

LSN commenting is not for frequent personal blogging, on-going debates or theological or other disputes between commenters.

Multiple comments from one person under a story are discouraged (suggested maximum of three). Capitalized sentences or comments will be removed (Internet shouting).

LifeSiteNews gives priority to pro-life, pro-family commenters and reserves the right to edit or remove comments.

Comments under LifeSiteNews stories do not necessarily represent the views of LifeSiteNews.

6 Comments

    Loading...