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  10:11 pm
Commenter: Ezra Pound

Strongly Support

It's time to take a stand against mental illness parading as individual expression of gendered identity in the public, educational, and political spheres.  Gender dysphoria is a modern social contagion, current among many, infecting impressionable and mentally vulnerable youth in the public school setting.  Young girls are particularly prone to this type of associative identification in much the same way that socially degenerative behaviors like bulimia nervosa and anorexia are passed around the same classes and schools where classmate peers share their mental pain.  This is not an issue of expression, but a crisis of mental and social health on a level unparalleled in recent memory.  The fact that other deeply disturbing mental issues such as cutting, violence, and suicide are cocomitant with this identity group only lends support to the theory above.  Gender dysphoria does not belong in the classroom and learning environment, nor does it deserve public platforms of proselytizing or indoctrination in the school setting, and any bill or Guidance Document which curtails and limits its expression is doing an uncomfortable but necessary service towards the social and public health of this country. Yay, to the Guidance Document.

CommentID: 202373