Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
Department of Education
 
Board
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  11:59 pm
Commenter: Joda Wade

FULL SUPPORT AND PRAYERS!!!!
 

I completely agree with the proposed document. It is a parents job to fight for their kid’s safety, wellbeing, and beliefs. Whether or not the child agrees with them, the PARENTS HAVE THE RIGHT to teach and educate their children with beliefs and teachings that they, the parents, have accepted as true, right, and just. I strongly believe that taking away the parents right to access their child’s accurate information is severely misguided and foolish. It is WRONG to stop a parent from protecting their child as best as they believe that they can. The school system, and ineligible students (not yet 18), should NOT have authority to override a parents decision for their child. I proudly stand by The Code of Virginia, § 1-240.1 I am a 19 year old young man who just graduated from Loudoun Valley High School in Loudoun County. I have seen what school is like. From a Christian perspective it is a very dark place. I have seen that High school can far too easily become an echo chamber for any belief, but none of which more negatively impactful as PRISM/LGBTQIA+ clubs and friend groups. While In a male dressing room for a theatrical production at Loudoun Valley, I had a run in where a female woman who called herself a transgender man walked in while I was in the process of changing. I did not know what to do or say, yet I felt deeply that this situation  was fundamentally wrong. I politely asked her to please knock before coming in next time as I was extremely uncomfortable, and thankfully, despite being offended, she agreed to. I must admit, I was very anxious when I asked, as theatre as a whole has many pro LGBTQIA+ members, and I was unsure how they would react to me speaking my mind and personal beliefs. This experience has stuck with me for a long while as it was an eye opener. At that time, I, a STUDENT should not have to worry about being watched by girls in a male dressing room. It should not be on a child’s shoulder to fight for what is right. It is the responsibility of the adults and parents of children to go before them on every issue. Glory to God, amen.

 

CommentID: 203030