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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
Guidance Document Change: The Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools guidance document was developed in response to House Bill 145 and Senate Bill 161, enacted by the 2020 Virginia General Assembly, which directed the Virginia Department of Education to develop and make available to each school board model policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools. These guidelines address common issues regarding transgender students in accordance with evidence-based best practices and include information, guidance, procedures, and standards relating to: compliance with applicable nondiscrimination laws; maintenance of a safe and supportive learning environment free from discrimination and harassment for all students; prevention of and response to bullying and harassment; maintenance of student records; identification of students; protection of student privacy and the confidentiality of sensitive information; enforcement of sex-based dress codes; and student participation in sex-specific school activities, events, and use of school facilities.
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1/6/21  9:03 pm
Commenter: Kathleen Sweeney

I strongly oppose these policies and guidance

   I am strongly opposed to the Virginia Department of Education’s proposed model policies and guidance regarding transgender students in the public schools.  If enacted, these guidelines will endanger children’s cognitive and psychological development because they cause confusion about the reality of the human body and the meaning of sex.  The reality is that every human has either xx (female) or xy (male) chromosomes in every cell of the body, and the human being is a unity of mind and body.  Thus no one is ever “born in the wrong body.”  A mental decision does not change this reality.  It is not possible for a boy to become a girl or a girl to become a boy, despite what one might desire.  Gender dysphoria is condition that needs to be compassionately addressed with counseling by a therapist knowledgeable about this condition and its healing. It would be abusive to encourage children in a delusion that will be harmful to their healthy development and their future.  It is also harmful to other children who will be confused about the reality of their sexual body.

   Moreover, these guidelines violate parental rights.  Parents have the primary responsibility for raising their children and only delegate this responsibility secondarily to schools, yet these guidelines recommend keeping parents in the dark about their child’s delusional desires.  Children cannot know the consequences of decisions based on such desires.  Parents need to be informed and involved with the positive sexual development in their child and with any counseling provided.

   Teachers also have the right to be well-informed on these issues and not forced to adopt a gender ideology they don’t agree with.  Both teachers and parents may have religious principles that need to be respected and that would be violated by imposing a conflicting ideology.

CommentID: 88675