The 2022 Model Policies were issued under the putative authority of Virginia Code § 22.1-23.3. This provision tasks VDOE with “develop[ing] . . . policies … that address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards.” Va. Code § 22.1-23.3(A). As Delegate Marcus B. Simon, the statute’s introducing sponsor, explained in a Subcommittee meeting, any policies issued by the VDOE should “use the best and latest in science and social science to understand how [to] meet [transgender] students’ needs.” The 2021 Model Policies were developed in consultation with numerous experts, provided paragraphs of narrative citing studies, government findings, surveys from LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations, and policy recommendations. See, e.g., 2021 Model Policies, supra, at 9-11. They linked to over sixty resources for a variety of stakeholders including LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations. 2021 Model Policies, supra, at 22-25.
By contrast, the 2022 Model Policies do not rely on resources or research on transgender students; they cite to only nine studies largely focused on the parental role in bullying prevention. 2022 Model Policies, supra, at 10-12, 18. Indeed, the 2022 Model Policies touch on issues which the legislature noted were not within the competence of the VDOE. The authorizing statute notes that VDOE may only regulate “participation in … activities and events and use of school facilities” which “do not include athletics.” Va. Code § 22.1-23.3(A)(8) (emphasis added). The sponsors of the bill in the Senate and in the House of Delegates adopted the exclusion because athletic regulation historically fell within the purview of the VHSL. Nonetheless, while the 2021 Policies defer to the VHSL, the 2022 Policies dictate participation in athletics based on “biological sex.” 2022 Model Policies, supra, at 18.
The statute’s history makes clear that its purpose was to support and protect the ability of transgender children to self-identify. The sponsor of the statute wanted VDOE to examine “the current best practices, what does the science say is the best way to treat students who are transgender . . . and what can we do to make their educational experience as positive as possible for them . . . .” The 2022 Model Policies undermine that purpose in numerous ways.
(This is the second part of four for our comments. Per Va. Code §2.2-4002.1(C), we request a written response to this comment from VDOE via electronic publication and to delay the effective date of the 2022 Model Policies by thirty days)
 Bill on Treatment of Transgender Students, H.B. 145, 2020 Sess. (Va. 2020), https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00304/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20221011/-1/12966#agenda_ (VA House Pre K-12 Subcommittee) 7:29:26-7:29:34.
 As another Senator noted: “[T]he legislative history on this bill is gonna show it was introduced with the word athletics, and that was stricken.” Bill on Treatment of Transgender Students, S.B. 161, 2020 Sess. (Va. 2020) https://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 (VA Senate Education and Health Committee, Jan. 16, 2020 8 a.m. at 8:22-8:39. See also Bill on Treatment of Transgender Students, S.B. 161, 2020 Sess. (Va. 2020)https://virginia-senate.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3 (VA Senate Regular Session, Jan 21, 2020 1:08:42-1:09:53) (Senator Boysko clarifying in response to a question that deference to VHSL was appropriate); id. at 1:48:16-1:48:52 (amendment agreed to after inserting phrase “activities and events do not include athletics.”).
 Bill on Treatment of Transgender Students, H.B. 145, 2020 Sess. (Va. 2020), https://virginiageneralassembly.gov/house/chamber/chamberstream.php 1:47:15-1:47:38.
 Bill on Treatment of Transgender Students, H.B. 145, 2020 Sess. (Va. 2020) https://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00304/Harmony/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20221011/-1/12966#agenda_ (VA House Pre K-12 Subcommittee) 7:28:56- 7:29:12 (emphasis added).
 2019 State Snapshot: School Climate for LGBTQ Students in Virginia, Gay, Lesbian & Straight Educ. Network (2019), https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/Virginia-Snapshot-2019.pdf.
 See, e.g., Stephen T. Russell et al., Adolescent Health and Harassment Based on Discriminatory Bias, 102(3) Am. J. Pub. Health 493, 493-95 (2012).
 2019 State Snapshot, supra, note 5.
 Gender Dysphoria Diagnosis, Am. Psychiatric Ass’n, https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/cultural-competency/education/transgender-and-gender-nonconforming-patients/gender-dysphoria-diagnosis; see also, Am. Psychiatric Ass’n, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 451 (5th ed. 2013).
 See, e.g., Brief of Am. Acad. of Pediatrics et al. at 14, Parents for Privacy v. Barr, 949 F.3d 1210 (9th Cir. 2020) (No. 18-35708), 2019 WL 1261905; see also Lily Durwood et al., Mental Health and Self-Worth in Socially Transitioned Transgender Youth, 56(2) J. Am. Acad. of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 116 (Feb. 2017) (finding that trans students who socially transition have better mental health outcomes than their peers who do not socially transition).
 Anna Martha Vaitses Fontanari et al., Gender Affirmation is Associated with Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Youth Mental Health Improvement, 7(5) LGBT Health 237, 243-45 (2020).
 See, e.g., Stephen T. Russell et al., Chosen Name Use Is Linked to Reduced Depressive Symptoms, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicidal Behavior Among Transgender Youth, 63 J. Adolescent Health 503, 505 (Feb. 1, 2018); see also Camille Brown et al., “It Makes Such a Difference”: An Examination of How LGBTQ Youth Talk About Personal Gender Pronouns, 32(1) J. Am. Ass’n Nurse Pracs. 70, 77-78 (Jan. 2020) and Kevin A. McLemore, Experiences with misgendering: Identity Misclassification of Transgender Spectrum Individuals, 14(1) J. Self & Identity 51, 68-70.
 Myeshia Price-Feeney et al., Impact of Bathroom Discrimination on Mental Health Among Transgender and Nonbinary Youth, 68 J. Adolescent Health 1145 (2021); see also Lance S. Weinhardt et al., Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Youths' Public Facilities Use and Psychological Well-Being: A Mixed-Method Study, 2 Transgender Health 149 (2017) (finding restrictions on what bathrooms trans students can use likely leads to less-safe school and bathroom environments for trans students and can lead to more stigma, more discrimination, lower resilience, lower self-esteem, and a lower overall quality of life). Brief of Fairfax Cnty. Sch. Bd. et al. at 5, Grimm v. Gloucester Cnty. Sch. Bd., 976 F.3d 399 (Mem) (4th Cir. 2020) (No. 19-1952), 2019 WL 6341090.
 Hum. Rts. Campaign, 2018 LGBTQ Youth Report, 5 (2018), https://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/2018-YouthReport-NoVid.pdf; see also The Costs of Coming Out: LGBT Youth Homelessness, Lesley Univ., https://lesley.edu/article/the-cost-of-coming-out-lgbt-youth-homelessness (last visited Oct. 19, 2022) (showing that 50% of LGBTQ+ teens report negative parental reactions upon coming out).
 See Ctr. Am. Progress, Gay and Transgender Youth Homelessness by the Numbers (June 21, 2010), https://www.americanprogress.org/article/gay-and-transgender-youth-homelessness-by-the-numbers/.
 Sabra L. Katz-Wise, Margaret Rosario, & Michael Tsappis, LGBT Youth and Family Acceptance, 63(6) Pediatric Clinic N. Am. 1011, 1014 (Dec. 2016).
 2021 Model Policies, supra, at 14 (citing Ryan et al., Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults, 23(4) J. Child & Adolescent Psych. Nursing 205, 208 (Nov. 2010)).