New Model Policies Protect Students, Enhance Parental Rights

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released its new Model Policies to Ensure Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools on Tuesday. “These policies provide families the opportunity to weigh in on their child’s decisions and be a partner in their education,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Lisa Coons said. “We are elevating parents and giving them a seat at the table. We encourage all school divisions to review the policies and implement them into their local policies in collaboration with their school boards and community stakeholders.”

The new policies, which prohibit all forms of discrimination while affirming the crucial role of parents in their children’s lives, were finalized after reviewing numerous comments from the public. Legislation signed into law by then-Governor Ralph Northam in 2020 requires the formulation and release of the policies. “The Department issues the 2023 Model Policies to provide clear, accurate, and useful guidance to Virginia school boards that align with statutory provisions,” the VDOE noted on Tuesday.

Governor Glenn Youngkin hailed the 2023 policies as a victory for student safety and parental rights. “The Department of Education has delivered policies that empower parents, prohibit discrimination, create a safe and vibrant learning environment by addressing bullying incidents immediately, and protect the privacy and dignity of all students through bathroom policies, athletic procedures, and student identification measures,” Governor Youngkin said.

On Tuesday, Governor Youngkin met with families in Northern Virginia to hear their concerns regarding their kids’ education. “Being a parent isn’t easy, across the Commonwealth we are having a conversation about being a parent – and not only our responsibility, but our rights to raise our children consistent with values that reflect us, not politicians or bureaucrats,” the governor tweeted on Wednesday. “In Virginia, #ParentsMatter.”


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