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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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1/18/21  9:33 am
Commenter: Tom Smith

Comment on "Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools"

Sir, Ma'am: Thank you for the opportunity to comment. 

I have serious reservations on aspects of the "Model Policies for Treatment of Transgender Students in VA Public Schools" and request substantial modification or rescission. While I am supportive of efforts to reduce bullying and harrassment, these guidelines go far beyond supporting a safe school environment by endorsing positions on transgenderism that include controversial and harmful ideas such as male and female being being defined as a 'cluster of physical features' or that gender identity is declared at age 5-6.  These ideas are harmful, particularly when shared by authority figures (the public school).  They directly oppose the firmly held and scientifically based reality of men and women.  I fear for the confusion we introduce into children that will bring them long term harm.

If the intent is to reduce bullying and harrassment, please focus on respecting the dignity of the individual and do not accompany these guidelines with definitions and education that are firmly rejected by science and the Judeo-Christian faith.  Parents must have say in the education of their children.  The concepts of transgenderism are complex and should not be promoted in public schools.  


  • The proposed policies articulate views – such as the view that “Gender identity is considered an innate characteristic that most children declare by age five to six” – that are far different from those of many parents. Through its blanket endorsement of views like these, the VDOE has gone far beyond the path the General Assembly prescribed.

  • Schools should not be accommodating the especially harmful view that youth is an appropriate time to be encouraging, in some cases, irreversible “gender transitions”.
  • The model regulations infringe the First Amendment rights of parents to raise and care for their children.
CommentID: 90573