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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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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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1/9/21  5:19 pm
Commenter: Michael Wagner

Strongly oppose several key provisions
 

As both a father of school aged children and a licensed clinical psychologist, I am horrified at the lack of privacy protections for cisgender individuals, as well as, the assertation that schools should be encouraged to actively intrude into family dynamics by affirming identities within children, which are opposed the guidance of parents. I agree with the need to continue to work to eliminate open hostility toward transgender individuals and affirm their ability to participant in all non-gender-specific activities (e.g. chorus). However, that a transgender individual with male anatomy would have the right, without being questioned/challenged to share the same undressing and showering space as my daughters some day seems like an outrageous intrusion on her privacy. This may be one of the more obvious difficulties with this guidance; however, there are several similar concerns. Additionally, the routine affirmation of the unsolidified identities can be very destructive to proper maturation and have extremely detrimental long-term impacts on youth. I think the very delicate/complicated work of identity exploration and solidification needs to be done in dialogue with the parents, with the assistance of experts as needed. 

 

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