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  10:31 pm
Commenter: S. Chen

support this moderate policy

I live in Fairfax county and I talked to about 30 parents who live around me. They are my neighbors/friends/family members. Most of these parents lean left and some of them are life-long democrats. All of us care deeply about LGBTQ rights. AFTER SHOWING THEM the actual draft of youngkin's policy, EVERY single one of them is fine with it and actually happy about it. And that's how reasonable this model policy is ---- It's fine if kids want to change their gender in school as long as the parents are informed and involved. The ultimate care givers to trans kids are their own parents. Solving conflicts with one's parents is a process every kid experiences. Family tie is what is staying forever. Robbing that away from a kid is cruel. Two of my best friends growing up are homosexuals. I saw how their families were first not able to accept it but eventually embrace it fully. That process takes years but it's so precious. And the school should really stay away from these precious family experiences. For trans kids, getting family involved is EVEN MORE important particularly if decision of  procedures/reagents involved. Given that there is a 80-90% de-transition rate, the reason why now UK is banning hormone/puberty blockers for miners, kids need their parents' guidance to make such important decisions. And the only people who will be caring for trans kids forever, who will be the ones consoling them are their own parents. Youngkin's bill is actually giving trans kids long term support by asking the school not to hide it from their parents. If the trans community truely love and care about trans kids' well-being, please get on board. Thank you!! 




CommentID: 202530