Two mothers have jointly filed a lawsuit against the Virginia Beach School Board for its refusal to adopt the state’s “Model Policies” safeguarding parental rights and protecting the integrity of male and female sports.
Following Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s initiative, the state’s Department of Education released their recommended policies in July. The guidelines require teachers and school staff to inform parents if their child expresses issues with their gender identity that conflict with their biological sex. The state’s policies also prohibit students from participating in sports opposite their biological sex.
According to the lawsuit, “Virginia Beach allows biological boys who identify as girls to use the girls’ locker room. And the Model Policies require participation in athletic programs or activities separated by sex to be determined by sex alone, rather than gender or gender identity. Virginia Beach allows participation in competitive sports to be determined by either sex or gender identity.”
The lawsuit contends further that the Virginia Beach School Board has exceeded its legal authority and the “Board’s refusal to adopt regulations consistent with the Model Policies violates Virginia law.”
“Rather than respecting the rights of parents and students, the school board continues to maintain policies that threaten punishment for students who decline to affirm gender transition with biologically inaccurate pronouns,” Clark Hildabrand, the attorney representing Sarah Winesett and Vanessa Beasley, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Hildabrand added: “The Virginia Department of Education’s Model Policies better respect and protect the fundamental right of Virginia parents to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education and care of their children. Virginia law requires all school boards to adopt the Model Policies, so the Virginia Beach School Board violated law by refusing to replace its inconsistent regulations with the Model Policy.”
The Virginia Beach School Board had debated the state’s policies for several weeks before a split vote on Aug. 22 prevented the adoption of the department of education’s guidelines. Amherst County School Board has also refused to adopt the state’s Model Policies.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, also a Republican, has called on school boards across the state to practice common sense and adopt the pro-family education policies.
“Parents, not government, are in the best position to work with their children on important life decisions, and no parent signs up to co-parent with the government,” he said. “In fact, the rights of parents are one of our oldest and most fundamental liberty interests. The Model Policies ensure that all students are treated with dignity and that parental involvement remains at the center. These policies are fully compliant with the law, and school boards across the Commonwealth should support and implement them. It’s not just common sense, it’s the law.”