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.
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
10/26/22  11:01 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Student Opposing 100%

These changes will ruin my entire social life. I started highschool last year and moved away from a school where I could never be who I am. I have had incredible positive changes in my  mental health due to the 2021 Transgender Policy and from the support I receive from my classmates and teachers. If these changes go into effect, I will not only be outed to my parents, but I will have to change my entire identity in order to comply with the changes. Even if my name was approved by the school and my parents, I wouldn't be able to use my proper pronouns, nor would I be able to ever truly feel safe in communicating my feelings to counselors or teachers. This policy will kill so many kids. So many students, not only trans students, but any student  who confides in teachers or counselors about abusive or bad household situations may be put at risk of bodily harm. This puts an immense amount of students at risk, as well as prevents the main purpose of a school counselor from being fulfilled. These changes are selfish, and only show trans students how the school board will use us as pawns in order to push their disgusting agenda against lgbtqia students in general.

CommentID: 202703