Opposed to "draft model policies for the treatment of transgender students"
Respectfully, I plead with you to not pass these draft model policies for the treatment of transgender students.
I will begin my argument against these policies with noting that referring to people in non-binary terms and without respect to their biological gender goes against many religious peoples religious beliefs and practices. It is not only Christians of a more conservative stripe who will have an issue with this. More conservative Muslims and Jews will also take issue, not to mention Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons and many others. What protections are in place for them?
Secondly, in Virginia one must be 18 to change their legal name. Citizens of the Virginia are not allowed to drive until they are 16 years and 3 months old. The minimum age for enlistment in the U.S. military is 17 years of age. One cannot consume alcohol or tobacco legally in VA unless they are 21 years of age. You have to be 21 to rent a car. Did I mention that we cannot change our names till we are 18? Why then does it follow that children as young as five or six are ready for the great and life-altering responsibility of determining their gender identity and appropriate pronouns?
Third, although students are prone to take advantage of any school policy (given their youthful lack of maturity), these policies will lead to stupendous abuses. The future manifestations of possible abuses seem almost infinite. For example: a 7th grader who dislikes her teacher thereby changing her pronoun every day only after being "harrassed" by the teacher for using yesterday's pronoun. Another example: an 11th grader who likes to see girls undress identifying as a girl so as to be in the girls locker room. Another example: a student who is fed up with their parents rules in the home purposefully begins to identify in a way that they know will get them out of the parents house forever. Yet another: a student is not clear with each and every student and teacher regarding their pronoun and then is back in the office every other day accusing people of gross harassment.
Finally, many students may threaten to do drastic things (and in some cases carry them out) if they are not given the authority to choose their gender and pronouns. That is truly sad and tragic. Yet, although this may be hard to hear, that is not a sound way to determine if authority should be granted. My daughters, ages five and two, want the authority to make all kinds of decisions that are harmful to them. A good parent, I believe we all can agree, will not allow them to make and take action on those decisions - even if it leads to whining, complaining and even dire threats.
I have no doubt that some who are proposing these policies do so from a sincere belief that it will lead to a more just school system. My question for you is: Who are the authorities that you are listening to and why are they so worthy of your trust? Why are you so persuaded by them? It is possible they are wrong. Why not take more time and create study committees before enacting these policies.