Youngkin Fights Back After Student Walkout - 'Children Don't Belong to the State'


Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia said during a Wednesday Fox News appearance that new state policies on gender identity are intended to involve parents in “important decisions.”

“We first want to love every kid. And we want to make sure we are protecting their dignity, and their privacy and their safety. The difference in what our policies are really focused on is indeed bringing parents fully in,” Youngkin said.

“My predecessor issued policies that excluded parents. And I don’t think that’s correct. Virginia voters spoke loudly about that last year,” Youngkin told the co-hosts of “Fox and Friends.”

Students engaged in a walkout on Sept. 20 in protest of Youngkin’s draft policies, which reversed policies put into place by former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam in Virginia.

Youngkin won the 2021 gubernatorial election in Virginia while campaigning on the issue of parental involvement in education, an issue that gained prominence after members of the Loudoun County School Board were reportedly involved in a secret Facebook group that targeted opponents of critical race theory.

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“And so, the draft policies, which are up for 30 days of comment, are fully focused on bringing parents into that discussion as a primary decision maker. Not to exclude a trusted teacher or trusted adviser or counselor but to recognize that these most important decisions must involve parents,” Youngkin continued.

“And this is a moment for us to also recognize that our families are so important. The children don’t belong to the state.

“They belong to families. And so as children are dealing with important topics, parents have to be the center. And that’s what these policies are all about.”

Youngkin also took on the issue of transgender participation in sports, which came to prominence during the 2022 NCAA Swimming Championships.

Do you agree with Youngkin's stand?

“Biological boys shouldn’t be playing sports with biological girls. It’s just not fair,” Youngkin said.

“It’s not fair to the girls. And so at the end of the day, I think we’ve taken a very common sense approach here but also fully respecting the dignity of all kids and families. And I just ask for folks to read them before they comment,” Youngkin added later.

“I do find that a lot of people immediately react to headlines, at the end of the day, we’re trying to love and respect and bring in families together in these most important decisions.”

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