I OPPOSE the proposed 2022 Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools. This document will only hurt transgender students and will undo all the progress we have made to protect them from bullying and harrassment.
1. This proposal requires teachers and staff to forcibly “out” students to their parents. This is extremely dangerous, as many parents are not accepting, thus creating a hostile home environment. This will also prevent transgender students from speaking to an adult whom they trust at school. Teachers are not only there to teach; they are there to provide support and guidance when a student needs it the most.
2. Teachers and staff are prohibited from using a trans student’s name and pronouns unless given permission from their parents. Studies have proven time and time again that using a trans person’s correct name and pronouns significantly improves their mental health and can help prevent suicide. By forcing staff to use a student’s deadname and incorrect pronouns, you are creating an extremely stressful environment for them. In addition, cis children have been allowed to use nicknames that are different from their legal names forever; how is a trans child with a different name from their records any different?
3. This model requires transgender students to play on sport’s teams that align with their assigned sex at birth. This is also dangerous for not only transgender students but every student. How is this going to be enforced? I fear that genital inspections will become the norm. There has also been a news story where a parent wanted to check if a girl who beat their child in a sport’s competition was transgender. This is a complete invasion of privacy. Sports in schools are also about fostering a sense of teamwork and community. You are taking this away from transgender children.
Overall, this model will only HARM transgender and non-binary students. It does absolutely nothing to protect them in a place they are required to attend every day. It also goes completely against all the guidance from medical professionals and statistics that show how trans children’s mental health significantly improves when we respect them. Please do not let this pass if you truly care about children and teens.