February 1, 2023
Dear Delegate Dave LaRock and fellow co-sponsors,
Independent Women’s Voice, which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, thanks you for protecting vulnerable children and preserving parental rights.
Gender ideology has seeped into many institutions, including K-12 schools. Right now, schools across the nation are socially transitioning children without parental consent or knowledge, using names and pronouns for children of which parents are unaware.
Secretly “affirming” a child’s gender identity and encouraging him or her to pursue “gender-affirming care” is manipulative, cruel, and carries serious medical risks. IWF’s “Identity Crisis” documentary series tells the stories of individuals who have experienced the harms of gender ideology first-hand and are now faced with devastating permanent damage.
Tragically, bad actors see gender-confused children as an opportunity to profit. Sage, a 14-year-old teenage girl who was kept from her parents and sex trafficked, is one heartbreaking example. Virginia Appomattox County High School officials concealed Sage’s chosen gender identity and began secretly “affirming” her gender identity, all without the consent of her parents. The parents were deemed unfit because they were rearing their child in accordance with her biological sex. This disabled Sage’s greatest protectors, her parents, from protecting her, making it easier for predators to exploit Sage and her situation.
We cannot sit idly by while schools undermine parents who love their children and would do anything to keep them safe. We believe that schools should be required to notify parents if their children seek to adopt a new gender identity and should be prohibited from taking steps to transition a child without parental consent.
IWV thanks you again for your leadership on this issue and urges all Virginia policymakers to join you in protecting the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our society.
Education Freedom Center