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  9:20 am
Commenter: Anonymous

Strongly Support

Both of my children at one point thought they might be trans. Their entire friend groups thought so too, and I noticed the contagion aspect of it all, so I just gave them the room to feel out the identity without any pressure to do something about it on my end. I approached it the same as I would have if they shared their interest in a new band or hobby. Low and behold, they both grew out of it. I'm lucky in regards to having close relationships with my children who feel comfortable enough to speak openly about things they are going through, but had they not had that, I can imagine them getting further caught up in going down a road that isn't actually who they are, because that's exactly what the schools are creating.

They've both told me of the pressures of being anything other that "cis" and "white." How it's the worst of the worst and schools have made them feel unworthy of their humanity due to their innate sexual nature/preference and their skin color. So, it's no wonder when one in a friend group says they're trans and the schools are constantly pumping out trans/queer talking points, the whole group starts experimenting with the label, as it's an easy way to escape the stigma of being an "oppressor." That's absolutely the environment being created in schools currently.

For what it's worth, up until all of this trans ideology started getting pushed, I had been a staunchly democratic voter. I just can not anymore with where the left is going. Seeing what I've now seen, I know if I was a teen currently, I'd be caught up in it all too. I was a tomboy that grew into a confident woman because no one cared that I was gender non-conforming and preferred playing with the boys. Were I in schools now, I'd be pressured and fast tracked into a trans identity because I guess we're going back to sexist stereotypes.

Thank you, Governor, and the entire administration who played a part in drafting these new guidelines. It's the absolute right move.

CommentID: 129127