By Victoria Cobb and originally published by the Virginia Family Foundation.
We have great news to report!
Governor Youngkin’s new leadership in the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has postponed the public comment period for the Virginia School Health Guidelines, Third Edition (2021), which were drafted by the previous commissioner of health, and is now reconsidering the entire guidance document.
It was just Thursday of last week that we informed you about the 500+ page guidance document that contained links to objectionable websites, which offer resources for abortion access and promote an animated video series for young kids that talk about abortion, sex, sexuality, and sexual identity – all of which should be reserved for parents. And after over 560 comments were submitted by concerned parents and citizens, VDH has temporarily suspended the guidelines for further review.
This immediate response by the new leadership at VDH further demonstrates that Governor Youngkin’s campaign promise to strengthen parental rights is being taken seriously by his agency leaders, and that is something we can all be excited about.
Earlier this year, the acting Commissioner of Health had directed his agency to remove links (also approved by the previous governor and health commissioner) to provocative websites like “Scarleteen,” from the VDH website. This was in response to a request made by Delegate Kathy Byron (R-Forest) who carried legislation (HB 156) this year to prohibit the VDH from communicating with minors without parental knowledge about sex, sexuality, STDs, gender identity, etc.
As you know, Governor Youngkin and his agency appointees have a big challenge ahead of them to unravel the extreme liberal policies implemented by the previous administration’s agency leaders that violate family values. It will take time, and it will require a careful review of every policy.
With that in mind, we should be very encouraged by the VDH’s decision to reconsider these guidelines in what appears to be a strong signal that they recognize that parents rights do matter.