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  11:48 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Supporting Parental Rights and the Well Being of EVERY Child

           I am a parent living in NoVa with five children between the ages of 8 and 20 years. As such, I have vested interest in the guidelines adopted by school systems, administrators and teachers. Four of my children are young women, whose safety and security were severely placed in jeopardy during the Northam administration. These guidelines strip away the very rights parents have been given as a means to both protect our children and to guide them well along the path to adulthood. As a parent who holds to Biblical truth that God gifted to each person biological sex at birth that is immutable and uniquely expressed both biologically and relationally, I find that the current guidelines grossly discriminate and even reject these core beliefs. Furthermore, the current guidelines are tantamount to child abuse, as they place the most vulnerable in our society in positions of potential harm in the opening up of locker rooms and other intimate spaces. They also open up children who need the loving guidance and connection of a parent to counsel that includes options that might be irreversible and damaging for their whole lives. As such, I am in support of Governor Youngkins’ new model policy.

The universal and God-given rights of parents ensure that they are the first line and primary influencers in the realm of their children’s sex and gender. No time in history has the shaping of this core identity been delegated to anyone outside of the family, much less a school administrator or teacher.  I fully support the inclusion of a parent’s consent in the changing of names and pronouns. I also agree that it should only be within the parent’s consent that a child be given counseling regarding gender issues. If a student must obtain a parent’s consent to be given Tylenol or Ibuprofen, how is it that we have been allowing gender counseling to be given without obtaining parental consent? This is a malicious intrusion into the parent-child relationship.

I also support guidelines that a student uses the bathroom which corresponds with their biological sex. We have all heard the stories of boys claiming to be transgender using girls’ bathrooms or locker rooms and the tragic consequences of molestation or rape that ensued. Should we post security guards INSIDE bathrooms now, to patrol these intimate spaces? Or should we leave things as they have been for the duration and time-tested span of history, where biological women use women’s bathrooms and biological men use men’s bathrooms? Who is truly being mistreated here when the opposite is allowed? Who should we be protecting? ALL students.

The same holds true in situations involving overnight travel accommodations and other intimate situations. I support Governor Youngkin’s guidelines that these accommodations be based on biological sex. This is both common sense, logical, and again, protects not just the dignity and security of a very small group but the whole group of students.

Governor Youngkin’s new model policy will ensure that all students are respected and protected, while securing the God-given rights of parents to help their children make right decisions regarding their sex and gender.

CommentID: 202946