Victoria Cobb, president of Family Foundation of Virginia, says the lesson for families across the U.S. is this could happen in any neighborhood, simply because it only takes a "very vocal few" to insist that changes be adopted by a school board. Sometimes, she says, school boards just get bad legal advice.
"We have found that school boards are very vulnerable to pressure [when] they simply get told by a county attorney 'Well, this is the way to be the most legally inclusive,'" she tells AFN.
"… Every parent everywhere needs to stand guard," she continues. "[Every parent everywhere] needs to be combing through their child's curriculum, looking at their child's school policy regarding facility use and other sports policies, and be ready to stand as a protector for their own child's privacy rights."
Earlier this week, the Loudon County school board in northern Virginia approved a policy requiring teachers to use a student's preferred pronouns. It also allows students to compete in sports as the gender in which they identify, although Cobb says that's already been happening in Virginia. The 7-2 vote in Loudon County followed hours of debate and comments from the community. (Related story)
"We're disappointed that the school board ignored the overwhelming voice of parents who do not believe that these are the best policies for every child in the county," says Cobb. "In fact, [parents] find them to be actually harmful to their kids because they expose their children to unsafe spaces and compel speech and do a number of other things that are going to be disruptive to their faith and their family."
While Loudon has received a lot of media attention, the family advocate points out it's not the only county in the Commonwealth that approved policies protecting transgender students.
"Chesterfield just adopted a wholesale policy," she shares. "So, the challenge is [that] there are school boards across Virginia that are ignoring the voice of parents – and they are simply feeling that they must pass a new policy on the treatment of transgender students simply because Richmond put a heavy-handed mandate down on them."
Family Foundation is pushing a Protect Every Kid campaign to "stand behind parents and school board members battling for the physical safety, hearts, and minds of their children."