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  11:25 pm
Commenter: Anonymous Parent

Support for Parental Rights

It is honestly painful to read the divisive and nonsensical propaganda backed by zero research or rational thought. To be for parents rights is not to be against a child’s rights. For what stranger or random school board member would love and care for my children so much that they would lay down their lives for them like I would as their parent? 

I fully support this new policy that overturned all the previous horrible ones. If you are truly doing what is right, you should be transparent and not need to worry that parents know or find out about what you are doing, saying, teaching. The fact that the school board wants to purposefully keep parents out of the loop shows their hand, showing nothing but deceit and forcing their own agenda onto unsuspecting and vulnerable children. They have zero true concern for children. If they did they might pay attention to the raise in suicide rates of trans kids (when our society has been more accepting and even praising them than ever before), or of those who are de-transitioning instead of trying to ignore or silence them for disagreeing with their agenda. Or perhaps they would show they actually care for womens rights by listening to the climbing number of  female victims whether through the sports they no longer have the right to fair competition in or worse the females now falling victim to predators taking full advantage of the previously irrational policies allowing anyone claiming to feel like a female full access to them in restrooms and locker rooms. 

I hope the mob does not push you into silence. Parents are the ones with the God given authority to love, nurture, and bring up their children. To shut them out of any conversation is not in the best interest of any child.

CommentID: 202824