RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate committee on Thursday killed bills that would have prohibited the teaching of “inherently divisive concepts” in Virginia schools and banned transgender students from participating in sports that align with their gender identity.
The “divisive concepts” bill, sponsored by Hampton Roads Sen. Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach/Norfolk), was backed by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. It stems from Youngkin’s promise to end the teaching of concepts deemed to be “critical race theory.”
Democrats in the committee joined together in a 9-4 vote to pass by indefinitely, killing the bill.
The transgender ban bill was also sponsored by Kiggans. It too died in a 9-4 vote.
A Senate version of a bill that would have eliminated requiring Virginia’s school boards to adopt the Department of Education’s non-discrimination model policy for transgender students was also killed.
The committee did vote however to advance a bill sponsored by GOP Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant that would lay out a process to notify parents about “sexually-explicit material” in schools. Democrats Lynwood Lewis and Chap Petersen sided with Republicans. A similar bill from Sen. Bill DeSteph, R-Virginia Beach, that would have required written permission from a parent for a student to check out a book deemed sexually explicit from school libraries was also killed on Monday.
This article will be updated and Capitol Bureau reporter Jackie DeFusco will have more on the committee’s moves coming up later today. To watch a livestream of the committee, click here.