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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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1/7/21  10:24 pm
Commenter: Concerned parents of four

Against all proposed policies

I’m thankful for the opportunity to offer a comment. These proposals bewildered me as a parent. As I looked at the names of contributors to these proposals I was shocked to see the names listed. 

I am writing as a parent. But these proposals should be concerning for anyone considering having children, who has children, or grandchildren. These proposals are a clear violation of parental rights. Why should the government be interfering in the parent-child relationship and hiding information from the parents? There must be clear evidence of abuse for that to occur and these proposals are clearly overstepping of the government’s role. It also sets a scary precedent for what the government may try to infiltrate. This is absolutely an area that the government has no basis for meddling in. The parent-child relationship ought to be unmeddled with. 

The importance of the parent-child relationship and the family unit is so strong that we have moved away from orphanages for those truly abused or alone and have placed those individuals in foster care. In a family unit. Because the parent (or acting parent) has the best understanding of their child’s needs. And as anyone who has served in the foster system can attest the government generally does a lousy job “helping” those children. 

Having a school staff member support a child through a gender change without the parents’ knowledge or consent is devastatingly destructive to that child and family. Overwhelming statistics show the incredibly high suicide rate for people who identify as transgender and then go through with hormone therapy/surgery. It’s obvious that continuing down the road of pursuing a transgender lifestyle is hurtful and destructive to that individual. A parent would have the child’s best interests at heart more than any unrelated staff member. No parent aware of the risks would willingly allow their child to be subjected to a pseudo-medical procedure that is statistically proven to increase the odds of confusion, regret, and suicidal thoughts for their child - for a lifetime. Stripping parents of their ability to protect their child from these hazards is an unprecedented violation of their rights, knowingly places children in harm’s way, and ignores numerous psychological studies.  I’m baffled that anyone would think these policies could save lives as other comments have suggested. That’s statistically untrue.

Freedom of speech is infringed upon here too. There are some things that are just facts. The sky is blue. Say a teacher or student addresses a boy in the class as “he”, who decides they want to be addressed as a female (that hour, which may change 3 hours from now... as the proposal is written) and use the wrong pronoun for that moment. How can they be held accountable for that? The pronoun use is written completely arbitrarily in a way that asks to be abused by an angsty child with a disrespect for authority.

Letting a child decide which dressing room to use on a whim is asking for all kinds of abusive scenarios. This is ludicrous. Has anyone who contributed to the proposals been or met a teenage boy? Of course this will be abused. Unbelievable that it’s being considered.

For the safety of the students and the protection of the parent-child relationship these proposals should be abandoned in their entirety. 

CommentID: 88778