Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
 
GDForum ID: 1953
Description of Proposed Guidance Document Changes
Every day, throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, educators and school leaders work to ensure that all students have an opportunity to receive a high-quality education. As a part of that work, educators strive to meet the individual needs of all students entrusted to their care, and teachers work to create educational environments where all students thrive. The Virginia Department of Education (the “Department”) recognizes that each child is a unique individual with distinctive abilities and characteristics that should be valued and respected. All students have the right to attend school in an environment free from discrimination, harassment, or bullying. The Department supports efforts to protect and encourage respect for all students. Thus, we have a collective responsibility to address topics such as the treatment of transgender students with necessary compassion and respect for all students. The Department also fully acknowledges the rights of parents to exercise their fundamental rights granted by the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to direct the care, upbringing, and education of their children. The Code of Virginia reaffirms the rights of parents to determine how their children will be raised and educated. Empowering parents is not only a fundamental right, but it is essential to improving outcomes for all children in Virginia. The Department is mindful of constitutional protections that prohibit governmental entities from requiring individuals to adhere to or adopt a particular ideological belief. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees religious freedom and prohibits the government from compelling speech that is contrary to an individual’s personal or religious beliefs. The Department embarked on a thorough review of the Model Policies Guidance adopted on March 4, 2021 (the “2021 Model Policies”). The 2021 Model Policies promoted a specific viewpoint aimed at achieving cultural and social transformation in schools. The 2021 Model Policies also disregarded the rights of parents and ignored other legal and constitutional principles that significantly impact how schools educate students, including transgender students. With the publication of these 2022 Model Policies (the “2022 Model Policies”), the Department hereby withdraws the 2021 Model Policies, which shall have no further force and effect. The Department issues the 2022 Model Policies to provide clear, accurate, and useful guidance to Virginia school boards that align with statutory provisions governing the Model Policies. See Code of Virginia, § 22.1-23.3 (the “Act”). Significantly, the 2022 Model Policies also consider over 9,000 comments submitted to the Department during the public comment period for the 2021 Model Policies.
 
Guidance Document(s) for this Comment Forum
 
Document ID Document Title Document in Effect Proposed Document
Student Services Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools pdf Document     pdf Proposed Document
 
Contact Information
 
Name:
Office of the Superintendent
        Title:
 
Email:
policy@doe.virginia.gov
 
Address:
PO Box 2120
 
City:
Richmond
State:  
VA
Zip:  
23218
 
Phone:
(804)225-2057
Fax:  
()-
 
The Virginia Register
 

Publication Date: 9/26/2022    Volume: 39  Issue: 3
The public comment period is red dot In Progress!    Opened Today! closes at 11:59pm on 10/26/2022
View and Enter Comments      There are currently 53 comments. The last comment was entered on 9/26/2022

Planned Effective Date:  10/27/2022 
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