Agencies | Governor
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.
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
1/19/21  9:24 am
Commenter: Katie Wood

Support for VDOE's Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students

I support the draft guidance provided by the VDOE in regards to providing support and protect the human rights of our transgender students. All students have the right to a safe and supportive learning environment that is free of harassment and discrimination. As a school psychologist living and working in Virginia, I stand by the National Association of School Psychologists statement that, “all persons, including children and adolescents who are diverse in their sexuality and gender identities, expression, and/or presentation, have the inherent human right to equal opportunity and a physically and psychologically safe environment within all institutions.”  

According to the CDC, although transgender students make up less than 2% of the student population across the nation, these students are at a significantly increased risk for being victims of bullying, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, self harm, and suicide. With approximately 56 million students in K-12 schools across the US that means that  approximately 1,120,000 students are being placed in a significant health risk without the protections and support provided by these policies. The CDC reports "Given that violence victimization is a documented risk factor for substance use and suicide risk, implementation of interventions focused on reducing the victimization of transgender adolescents might be a key strategy for improving overall health."  

Even if you do not understand transgender students and families, please understand that by voting against protecting their rights as students and citizens that you are placing them at an increased risk of health and safety. 

CommentID: 90713