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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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1/12/21  9:52 pm
Commenter: Maria Sigmon

Strongly support. Protect trans rights!
 

To whom it may concern,

 

My name is Maria Sigmon, and I am the president of the Anti-Defamation League chapter of Unity Reed High School. I fully support the adoption of House Bill 145 and Senate Bill 161 because I believe that they are an effective means of protecting trans rights and serve to fully support transgender students.

This bill will literally save lives as trans people are shown to take their own lives at vastly higher rates, so creating a system where they can be called by their pronouns, use public facilities that align best with their gender identity, and learn in an anti-bullying environment will be very beneficial. Not passing the bills would legitimize a culture of bias and discrimination. Trans rights are human rights, and they must be upheld as such.

I understand that parents have concerns with the adoption of these bills. While I firmly believe that these concerns come from a place of genuine love and care for their children, I do not believe that the merits of the claims I have seen regarding the bills are valid.

First, these bills are not an infringement on parents' or religious rights. Teaching students about transgenderism is giving them public and scientific information, so completely blocking the bills over individuals' religious views is a violation of church-state separation. 

Second, calling students by their pronouns is not discrimination against those who refuse to act decently and use the correct pronouns. 

Third, there is absolutely NO EVIDENCE to support the notion that allowing trans women to use the same facilities as cisgender women poses any danger to anyone.

The passing of these bills is crucial to extending human rights to the transgender people in our school communities. I would advise listening to us students on this issue, as we overwhelmingly want to learn and thrive in an environment of inclusivity and acceptance. Our transgender classmates will greatly benefit from the adoption of House Bill 145 and Senate Bill 161.

 

Sincerely,

Maria Sigmon

 

CommentID: 89775