Transgender policy incident report form sparks controversy with LGBTQ group
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - For months, school board meetings have become ground zero for hot-button issues like transgender policy in schools across the state. Now, the conservative Virginia Family Foundation has created a digital report form parents can fill out when they believe a school system isn’t reflecting their values.
“We want to hold the school accountable for the kinds of things that we think are not acceptable within the school building,” said the foundation president, Victoria Cobb.
Cobb says the organization wants to help organize parents who are concerned with changes in school policy.
“From the General Assembly down in your school boards, we are going to be there to advocate for policies that advance the flourishment of families,” said Cobb.
To that end, the foundation created an online School Incident Report form for its #ProtectEveryKid movement. According to the foundation’s website, the form was made to resist efforts from the state government to adopt what it calls a ‘radicalized form of transgender advocacy’ into school life.
“We can hold Virginia public schools accountable by documenting our stories!” the website reads.
“We’ve been simply trying to help parents have a voice to say that actually, it’s your local school board that should set the policies that protect every child within their school system,” said Cobb. “These policies need to not just be about a few children, but really need to protect the privacy and rights of every child within the school.”
Cobb said the form could be when a parent believes a school is enforcing a policy or lesson that does not align with that family’s morals.
“We’re finding that this is sort of an onion we just kind of keep peeling back layers, and there are a lot of things that I think that school boards do need to be held accountable for, and parents are just simply saying we want to come partner with you,” said Cobb.
But James Millner with Virginia Pride believes the foundation has no intention of protecting every child as its motto would suggest.
“They have no interest in protecting every kid. They certainly have no interest in protecting transgender students. In fact, this form is essentially a virtual version of them organizing a mob of people with pitchforks and torches to go after transgender students in schools,” said Millner. “Transgender students deserve to be as safe and protected in schools as any other student. The Family Foundation does not want that to happen, and this form is evidence of that.”
But Cobb says there are limits to this form’s reach and impact.
“If there is a concern that is obviously a legal policy in the school that can’t be changed, then we won’t expect to see action,” said Cobb
“The fact that the Family Foundation is saying that they will follow the law is absolutely laughable. This is an effort, in fact, to thwart Virginia law,” said Millner. “The Family Foundation has one interest, and that is to discriminate and harm LGBTQ students. I cannot say that strongly enough.”
Cobb says the form has been active for the past month and adds that the foundation has been receiving positive feedback from parents so far, but Millner with Virginia Pride says it will do everything it can to oppose the foundation’s efforts.
This comes off the heels of the Hanover County School Board deciding to not allow students to use the bathroom they identify with, but an attorney with Hanover says that according to state law, they can.
“The Fourth Circuit has made the decision that transgender students should be allowed to use the restroom with which they identify. That is the law of the 4th Circuit,” said Hanover attorney Lisa Seward.
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