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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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1/13/21  11:23 am
Commenter: Kelsey Rusnak

Strongly Support Model Policy

Every kid should feel safe at school regardless of their gender identity or gender expression. The statistics listed in the policy document demonstrate the harm that discrimination against transgender youth causes:

"A 2019 national survey by GLSEN found that 84 percent of transgender youth feel unsafe at school, and those who experience victimization have significantly lower GPAs, are more likely to miss school out of concern for their safety, and are less likely to plan on continuing their education (Kosciw, Clark, Truong, & Zongrone, 2020). Compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers, LGBTQ+ youth report much higher rates of depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use, and lower self-esteem. LGBTQ+ youth of color may experience additional stress and adverse effects as a result of their intersecting identities, facing both bias against their gender identity or expression as well as racism" (pg. 9).

"Furthermore, a recent study found that socially transitioned transgender children who are supported in their gender identity have no elevations in depression and only minimal elevations in anxiety relative to population averages (Olson, Durwood, DeMeules, & McLaughlin, 2016)"(pg. 9).

CommentID: 89853