VDOE Model Policies Offer Cogent Guide to Protect Students, Affirm Parents’ Rights

Puneet Ahluwalia | Fairfax County Times

Many children experience concerns about their body image or feelings of confusion about issues related to gender and sex.

For many young people, it’s a natural part of maturing from adolescence to adulthood.

But we’re exacerbating the confusion and suffering by pursuing policies that deny biology.

Here in Fairfax County, schools allow boys to use the girls’ bathrooms … encourage biological males to compete on girls’ sports teams … and permit boys to use girls’ locker rooms and showers.

They teach 7th graders “transgender theory,” including the notion that some people are born in the wrong body.

They deny free speech rights to children and teachers by demanding they use false pronouns.

These policies are troubling partly because they undermine the long trek our society has undergone to put girls and women on an equal footing when it comes to participating in sports and encouraging healthy competition.

But they’re also dangerous to girls who may be preyed upon by biological males motivated by something other than gender fluidity.

It’s pernicious enough that we’re increasing the suffering of children concerned about their body image or confused about issues of sex and gender. Still, when official school policy attempts to make parents the enemies of children, there is something far more evil at work.

Many schools in Virginia now require faculty to “affirm” children’s feelings of gender confusion while prohibiting the faculty from sharing such information with parents and without unbiased professional counseling. 

There is alarmingly little research on how Gender Dysphoria and/or gender identity are associated with the completion of developmental tasks during adolescence.

Since we don’t have all the answers, isn’t it prudent to address issues like this with humility and caring?

Since we’re uncertain of the real impact of gender dysphoria on children, why would we instruct young children in transgender theory, or that maybe they were born in the wrong bodies, or even make available to children the chemical means to block puberty?

Rushing in where we don’t yet have the facts presents a severe risk to children’s mental and physical health for the rest of their lives.

Why, after the too-long and all too-tedious time it’s taken to bring girls’ sports into the mainstream of both K-12 and upper education, would we now deny them the right to achieve on their own terms, instead subjecting them to unfair competition against biological males?

Why would we put our children’s safety and privacy at risk by throwing the doors of restrooms, locker rooms, and showers open to biological males willing to claim they are girls?

And why in the world would we allow schools to deny scientific facts of biology in order to push radical and unproven doctrines on children? 

With the adoption of the Virginia Department of Education’s Model Policies On Ensuring Privacy, Dignity, And Respect For All Students And Parents In Virginia’s Public Schools, we finally have a clear and cogent guide designed to protect the safety and personal worth of every student and recognize the rights of parents.

I fervently hope this Virginia Model is used as a template for similar school policies across America.

Puneet Ahluwalia, founder and managing partner of New World Strategies, is a candidate for the Fairfax Board of Supervisors in the county’s Dranesville District. This article was first published by the Fairfax County Times on August 4, 2023.

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