One of the reasons gender ideology has become so entrenched in the education system is because it gives the state enormous power over children and how they are raised.

Ideologues are able to change the way children think of themselves — not only with regard to their bodies and biology but in relation to their families as well. Children who get sucked into this ideology by activists become convinced that those who refuse to affirm their new identities, parents included, are failing to see them for who they really are and hurting them as a result. This mindset isolates them from the very people they need most to resist such confusion — the people responsible for their upbringing, their parents.

Nothing pleases power-hungry bureaucrats more than this power to confuse and isolate. That’s why public school districts across the country actively hide information about children’s “gender identities” from parents and socially transition them without parental consent. Virginia’s Fairfax County, for example, has required its teachers to complete a training program that says parental consent is not necessary for a child’s social transition. Another training program required by the Michigan Department of Education tells teachers to avoid “outing” gender-confused children to their parents, even if those children are suicidal, and says they should keep a child’s “chosen name and pronouns” a secret. In many states, this is the norm.

Thankfully, Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin has moved to make sure Virginia is no longer one of them. He has rolled back a rule implemented by his Democratic predecessor that allowed school districts like Fairfax to get away with secret social transitions. The new policy, revealed on Friday, directs schools only to recognize a student’s discordant “gender identity” if a parent has requested it in writing.

“Parents have the right to make decisions with respect to their children,” the guidance said. “Policies shall be drafted to safeguard parents’ rights with respect to their child, and to facilitate the exercise of those rights.”

The new model recognizes that parents, not teachers or administrators or education bureaucrats, are responsible for children’s upbringing and well-being. Schools must “defer to parents to make the best decisions with respect to their children,” Youngkin’s guidance added.

“Parents are in the best position to work with their children … to determine (a) what names, nicknames, and/or pronouns, if any, shall be used for their child by teachers and school staff while their child is at school, (b) whether their child engages in any counseling or social transition at school that encourages a gender that differs from their child’s sex, or (c) whether their child expresses a gender that differs with their child’s sex while at school,” the policy said.

Families and politicians alike need to understand that there is a fundamental question at the heart of every education debate but especially with gender ideology: Who gets to raise children? Their parents or the state?

In Virginia, Youngkin has offered a resounding answer. Let’s hope other Republican leaders follow suit.