Trans rights are human rights. This policy is a huge step backward for Virginia and for tolerance. When did we become so afraid of others? It is critical that all children have an opportunity to be accepted for who they are, and these policies tell some children that they are just wrong or unwanted. The policy is unnecessary, contributes to an overall climate of intolerance toward LGBTQ+ people, and fosters a moral panic that rests on no evidence. What it will do is harm children who need to be affirmed. It will also harm their friends and peers, who will learn to deny someone's basic humanity. It contributes to a real dehumanization of trans and queer people that is actively dangerous and will lead to more bullying and violence. It protects no one and solves no real problems while causing many.
These model policies also purport to support parents rights - but in fact they undermine them. I am raising my children to be independent and assert their needs. This includes the ability to make decisions to work with trusted adults on issues that are important to them. they need ot learn to trust themselves and to explore. School is for expanding the mind - in areas like science, math, art, and growing into the amazing young people they will be. Artificially stifling this under the guise of parental rights - when it is so clear that parents are not always safe and supportive - is fundamentally counterproductive. As a parent, I have the right to have my child treated with dignity and support, no matter how they may present now or in the future.
I urge the state to rescind this draft and retain the prior model policy, which was far more inclusive, practical, and appropriate.