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.
Commenter: Juliet Johnson
- As a person who has worked in education for over ten years, I strongly support clear and compassionate directives for transgender and non-binary students. Every school system in the Commonwealth should require professional development for staff members regarding the lgbtq+ community. From what I’ve witnessed, the children have mostly grown to accept their peers’ identity, it is the staff members (including teachers and counseling staff) that often do the most harm due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. We need clear guidance. Trans/non-binary students not only face harassment & discrimination at a much higher level than their cis peers, they also face increasingly high rates of suicide and self-harm. For many, the school is their only opportunity for a safe haven. Please move forward on state-wide clear directives for this population that so desperately needs our support. Thank you.