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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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2/3/21  6:03 pm
Commenter: Ona Hogarty

Support protecting some of our most vulnerable youth!

Dear Viginia Department of Education, 

You have an important proposal before you, one which I wholeheartedly endorse. 

I had the pleasure of living in the fine state of Virginia for a while, in college, and found it to be a beautiful and welcoming place. This proposal, for the protection of trans students in public schools, is in line with the friendly spirit I encountered there.

A number of trans friends have enriched my life over the years, from a myriad of backgrounds and ethnicities. Sadly, they all have one thing in common - their school years, which should be a positive time for any young person, were marred by constant mistreatment at the hands of teachers and administrators - who were clueless at best and malevolent at worst.

The school system should be a haven of learning and new experiences through one of humankind's greatest gifts: the pursuit of knowledge. Prejudice and bigotry have no place in American educational institutions. And the stakes could not be higher: trans youths are at risk from a greater suicide rate than any other group of Americans. Misunderstanding, hatred, and venom are literally killing these children.

The department's approval of this proposal will create an even better environment in Virginia's well-respected public school system. Your support will make such a tremendous and wonderful difference in trans students' lives, letting them study under faculty who have been given the proper tools to help and support them. The proposal will be beneficial for cis students as well, to learn about (and celebrate) one of the many differences interwoven into the patchwork of American diversity.

Thank you as a once (and perhaps future) Virginian for the privilege of sharing my comments in support of this extremely important proposal. 

CommentID: 96052