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CONTACT:  Jennifer Aulgur

PHONE: (540) 437-1451



Obenshain Releases Statement on the 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents 

Updated Policy for Virginia's Public School Systems


HARRISONBURG - Today, Senator Mark Obenshain (R-Rockingham) released the following statement in response to the just-released 2022 Draft Model Policies on the Privacy Dignity, and Respect for All Student and Parents from the Virginia Department of Education:


“I applaud the 2022 Draft Policy released today by Governor Youngkin and the Virginia Department of Education. This policy was crafted in compliance with the 2020 law signed by then-Governor Northam and patroned by Delegate Marcus Simon and Senator Jennifer Boysko.


Last year, when then-Governor Northam released his administration’s draft model policy, it flatly ignored the rights of students and parents. It went so far as to prohibit school staff from notifying a parent or guardian if a student requested affirmation of his or her gender identity. It even suggested that there was an obligation for school officials to report parents to the Department of Social Services if they suspected them to be insufficiently supportive of their child’s gender identity. The Northam model policy was so extreme and out of touch with communities across Virginia that it was adopted by only approximately 10% of the school divisions in Virginia.  This  notwithstanding the statutory mandate that it be adopted by every school division. The 2020 legislation requiring the adoption of this policy was just a bad idea and it accomplished little beyond making Virginia schools an even bigger cultural battleground than they already were.


Parents must be involved in their children’s education. Period. A child’s development is acutely susceptible to influence and it is the responsibility of parents to play a central role in shaping and molding that development.


To the extent that the law requires adoption of a model policy by school divisions across Virginia, I support this new draft model policy which fully complies with the Code of Virginia. And I strongly suspect that the 90% of school divisions across Virginia that were unwilling to adopt the old policy will find themselves much more comfortable with this policy.


I hope that parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members across Virginia will work together to adopt policies that will respect parents’ rights and ensure our children are treated fairly and equitably in a safe environment.”



The 2022 Draft Model Policy can be viewed by clicking here.


Senator Obenshain represents the twenty-sixth district in the Senate of Virginia. The district includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Warren, Shenandoah, Page Rappahannock and Rockingham (part). He is running to represent the new second district of the Senate of Virginia which includes the city of Harrisonburg and the counties of Rockingam, Augusta (part), Page, Bath and Highland.  





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