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  10:13 am
Commenter: Alex Judson


As a person who identifies as trans and went to public school in chesterfield county, I can say that this policy will lead to an even bigger rise in suicide rates amount trans kids. We just want to live. We are scraping by to survive just dealing with our own identities etc and we do not need adults controlling EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF OUR LIVES. We matter just as much as you. We matter just as much as your child. If you pass this policy, YOU are going to have blood on YOUR hands. YOU are going to be the reason for these kids killing themselves. It will all be on YOU! YOUR fault, not their parents and not theirs. I URGE YOU TO NOT PASS THIS POLICY. DO NOT BE THE REASON FOR COUNTLESS SUICIDES. I am begging you to allow trans kids to be KIDS. If you can allow a cis child to do what they want you HAVE to let a trans child do the same exact things. If you’ll recall there’s a word called “discrimination” which seems to have been forgotten when it comes to people who are not cis, straight, white, a male, a Christian, etc. If YOU have rights then so do I and if you think otherwise, WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE ARE EQUAL. 

CommentID: 129375