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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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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1/12/21  3:54 pm
Commenter: Joanne

VA School Transgender Policies

A friend showed me the draft guidance documents and I have to say I found them rather distressing and extreme, like way over the line.  It seems like in the effort to make things more receptive for students struggling with their identity, gay, transgender or whatever, you are seriously running the risk of depriving other children of a safe environment to be who they are -- not struggling with identity.  My real concern is that a child who is shy, who is scared, who truly believes differently, that their freedom will be lost.  May I suggest that rather than forcing modest children to share bathrooms with someone who is transgender, that you have a neutral bathroom?  Male, Female, and Neutral? Not all kids or teens understand fluidity and they may not be ready to figure it out.  They deserve to be safe at school as they figure out their own issues that may or may not have anything to do with their gender.

I understand that a child/teen who is dealing with gender issues needs a safe space to confront that and process it, and I hope you do provide counseling and guidance and a safe space for them to talk.  But it should not be imposed on other children.  And if someone doesn't understand fluid pronouns, I do not think they should be punished for harassment.  

I really do think it's possible to provide a safe space for kids who are trying to figure things out while at the same time keeping the space safe for kids who either don't understand or perhaps don't agree.  For me, my hope is that all children, all teens, all people know that they are special and unique in the eyes of God.  I just don't believe you have to force one person's truth or struggle on all other people.  I think we all have a lot to learn about embracing and accepting people of all shapes and sizes and creeds and genders, whoever they are and wherever they are in life.



CommentID: 89720