NPR, Virginia Media Lose It Over Youngkin’s New Transgenderism in Schools Policy

July 25th, 2023 2:21 PM

In reaction to Governor Glenn Youngkin’s (R-VA) new policy unveiled last week for schools regarding transgenderism, local media in the D.C. market (including an NPR affiliate) and across the Potomac in Virginia again twisted themselves into nervous knots over how on Earth voters in the Commonwealth could have elected someone in a platform of parental involvement in education.

When Youngkin released the policy on July 18, several liberal media outlets used quotation marks around their parental rights coverage, insinuating that the rights of parents weren’t a real issue.

The DCist, a blog tied to Washington D.C.’s NPR affiliate WAMU, had a story with a headline that huffed, “Northern Virginia Schools Weigh How To Move Forward After Youngkin Issues Transgender Student Policies.”

Margaret Barthel made sure to emphasize an attitude of to heck with parents in her second paragraph: “The release sparked renewed concerns from LGBTQ+ advocates and Northern Virginia school leaders, who say they are reviewing the policies.”

Barthel also rhetorically ran to a far-left group Equality Virginia that’s opposed to anyone uncomfortable with pushing transgenderism on young children (click “expand”):

“Parents’ rights” became a rallying cry during Youngkin’s 2021 campaign for governor, and a shorthand for conservative concerns over school policies around teaching about race and handling issues of gender identity.

Equality Virginia, a statewide advocacy group for LGBTQ people, called the new policy “politically motivated” and criticized the administration for appearing not to take into account the concerns of thousands of public commenters in the new version — or consult with experts.

“Youngkin did all of this with no input from LGBTQ+ advocacy groups or subject matter experts,” said executive director Narissa Rahman, in a statement.

Fact check: They did. As per the actual release, the state Department of Education “consider[ed]...more than 70,000 comments submitted to the Department during the public comment period.”

Washington-area NBC affiliate WRC published an article that sympathized with transgender students being unable to be openly celebrated in schools versus parents having the right to know what their child may (or may not) be doing in school.

In “Youngkin’s new policies will affect transgender students. Here’s what may change,” Julie Carey and Maggie More fretted that the “controversial new education policy...affecting the way transgender students are treated...runs counter to the plans some school districts have put in place in recent years.”’

After bashing Youngkin for focusing on “what he calls ‘parents rights’” that “were ignored and disregarded by his predecessor Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration,” it took until the fifth paragraph to actually explain what Youngkin announced that a child’s identity rests with parents, not a child or teacher’s personal whims (click “expand”):

Youngkin’s new model policies put control of how students express their gender identity back in the hands of parents.

The model policies document refers heavily to constitutional amendments focused on civil rights and civil liberties in making its argument.

“These 2023 Model Policies reflect the Department’s confidence in parents to prudently exercise their fundamental right under the Fourteenth Amendment and Virginia law to direct the upbringing, education, and control of their children,” the document reads in part. “This primary role of parents is well established.”

“These 2023 Model Policies adhere to the First Amendment,” another part of the document reads.

“The First Amendment forbids government actors to require individuals to adhere to or adopt any particular ideological beliefs. Practices such as compelling others to use preferred pronouns is premised on the ideological belief that gender is a matter of personal choice or subjective experience, not sex,” the document continues.

The Washington Post had a similar mood of mourning with their story, “Va.’s trans student policies bring uncertainty, worry for LGBTQ+ students.”

Of course, The Post too called it “controversial” that would lead to confusion for schools and students. Worse yet, The Post suggested the mental health of students would suffer (click “expand”):

The policies, a version of which all state school systems would be required to adopt, direct students to use facilities that match their biological sex and require written permission for school personnel to use different names or pronouns than what is in a student’s official record. They also prohibit school policies from encouraging teachers to conceal information about a student relating to gender from parents, and suggest making single-user bathrooms and facilities available in accessible areas for all students.

LGBTQ+ advocates and students say they are worried about students returning to campuses that may no longer be considered safe and accepting environments when they head back to school starting next month.

“Regardless of if these harmful policies are adopted in your school in particular, to know that you’re in a state where, if the power of boundaries change within your school district … all the protections you enjoy could go away, because you just don’t have that fundamental protection,” said Gavin Grimm, who is transgender and who successfully sued the school board when he was banned from using the boys’ bathroom at his school in Gloucester County in a case that made national headlines.

It wasn’t just D.C.-based outlets that showed they value liberal activists more than parents and haven’t read the policies.

Down in Richmond, CBS affiliate WTVR had their own sob story: “Why parent calls Virginia’s new guidance on transgender students ‘very scary’”.

In the piece, Jake Burns quoted Shannon McCay, “who is the founder of the non-profit He, She, Ze, and We” and has a child who insists they’re transgender. Naturally, that disclosure that McCay was an activist in addition to a parent was only made in paragraph nine.

Burns quoted McCay without pushback as having said “[t]his is the government deciding, not parents deciding, what is best for students” and “[i]f they were really centering parents in this policy, then they would believe parents like me and all the families I work with.”

Again, let’s go to the actual policy: “Schools shall respect parents’ values and beliefs: Parents have the right to instill and nurture values and beliefs for their own children and make decisions concerning their children’s education and upbringing in accordance with their customs, faith, and family culture.”

In other words, the policy doesn’t even affect families like McCay’s who wholly endorse their child permanently altering their bodies, chemically, physically, and metaphorically.