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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10/26/22  10:58 pm
Commenter: Robert R Riddle

Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools

The policy proposed to replace the Model Policies for the

Treatment of Transgender Students

in Virginia’s Public Schools is nothing short of Orwellian. Proponents of the proposed policy are riding the ridiculous wave of hatred for the 'other' to politicize children's lives and experiences. 

I am a graduate of Fairfax County Public Schools and can testify to the urgent need to not only RETAIN the current policy -- which is one based upon respect and dignity -- but to continue build upon it; NOT to tear it down and replace it with politically motivated intolerance based in hate.

The proposed policy talks about parents rights and the rights of other children in relation to each individual child. If a child has gender dysphoria or desires to choose their own gender assignment, other children and other parents and school administrators are tangential and have no business in the matter.


The proposed document opens by declaring respect for parents beliefs and cultures, and their paramount importance. A lot of parents believe sincerely in child abuse, too -- physical. There are also parents who practice covert and overt sexual abuse of children. Are these -- child abuses -- to be accorded "respect" by the Commonwealth of Virginia because of parents sincere beliefs such acts are within their rights as parents? Utter nonsense. Parents give birth: they do not OWN their children as chattel.

The 2021 document is the far superior of the two. The proposed replacement is appalling. As a resident of the Commonwealth I strongly oppose the proposed replacement. 

CommentID: 202678