Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Guidance Document Change: 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.
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9/26/22  8:34 am
Commenter: V. Davis

Completely against this policy

I’m not sure what the general public thinks is going on with transgender children in school or in families with trans children, but it seems misinformation and fear is guiding most people. Especially people who have never talked to transgender kids or families of transgender kids,read the actual data from the America Academy of Pediatrics or just felt like most parents want what is best for their kids. My kid is not a political stand; my kid is not trying to pollute, groom, or corrupt your child. My child wants to go to school, use the bathroom and not be harassed regularly for who he is. Where are my parental rights in this policy? Where are my child’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Policies such as this will end the lives of transgender children. It will put a group already at risk into more danger.
Additionally, there isn’t a magic wand of declaring a minor is transgender and immediately that child is “mutilated”. The transition period with medical intervention is not immediate or done lightly. No parent I know has taken medical transition lightly. We are not stupid. We want to do what is best for OUR kid and do what keeps them ALIVE. Sometimes those decisions lead to surgery sometimes not. Some transgender people NEVER even want surgery. There is not a one size fits all to being trans. This policy is a direct reaction to fear and misunderstanding and willful ignorance and intentional fear mongering. It is wrong. It is judgement without basis in fact. Furthermore, go to a typical public school. You will not see trans kids taking over or teachers shoving gender issues down anyone’s throat. Teachers have enough on their plates and simply (most) just want their students to succeed no matter their gender. So leave them alone too. 

CommentID: 129007