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  9:57 am
Commenter: Donivan Potter

I Opposed this harmful new policy

I'm a little bit different than the average transgender person. I happen to have an unknown muscle condition. The muscle condition gets worse with stress and other factors. treating my gender dysphoria medically with hormones has been the only thing to help lower my cpks, that's the muscle tissue enzymes breaking down. nothing else ever worked to lower my cpks to normal.

When you refer to somebody that is transgender and suffering gender dysphoria like myself a pronoun that's not appropriate, one that goes against my identity.  it adds stress which causes my muscles to tense and that causes my muscle tissue to break down more.  that causes toxins to build up into me it's where my organs can fail. It's a shame that you think your beliefs are more important than my life and health.  I transitioned to save my life, Republicans with your hate and your ignorance you're negating all my efforts to save my life. All I know is ignorance and hate does not belong in schools. and that's what this new policy is it's nothing but ignorance and hate. I have a neighbor that listens to Youngkin and other people that spread rhetoric and lies about transgender people. My neighbor, he says that people like LGBT need to be took out and murdered. The fact this policy wants teachers to out LGBTQ students to people like my neighbor is wrong and dangerous. Not all parents are supportive and some are just like my neighbor. I didn't come out to my own parents my mom never knew. my dad finally knew late in life. I was scared about losing them, I can't imagine the stress that students will feel knowing that you're going to try to out them.  that stress would have prevented me from having a good education at all. the fact that I had to hide my identity prevented me from having a good education. I never learned nothing about myself in school, not in health class or any other class for that matter. I felt alone isolated and scared the whole time. That's what you're doing again, repeating history and you're doing wrong by people you're causing more harm than any good with this rotten policy.

CommentID: 129258