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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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1/13/21  11:34 am
Commenter: GAIL GORDON

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I support efforts by the Virginia Department of Education to create a more inclusive learning environment for all students, including but not limited to students identifying as transgender. Gender itself is a social construct and gender stereotypes should not be encouraged. We should strive for a world where no one is considered "gender non-conforming" because everybody can wear any kind of clothing or participate in any activity and not have it be considered masculine or feminine. The very concept of gender is antiquated and should be abolished. Sex is not assigned at birth; it is observed. Sex is a biological state of being. Spaces where children will be in a state of undress should be divided by SEX, not gender, with individual facilities for those students whose biological sex does not comport with their inner feelings of gender. No student should be forced to use a restroom or changing space where they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, and that means that not only will transgender students need a safe and neutral space, but students who are not transgender but who do not wish to be in a state of undress with persons of the opposite biological sex must also be accommodated and provided with restrooms and changing rooms where they feel safe and comfortable.  To the fullest extent possible, Virginia schools should provide private, single changing spaces, showers, and toilet facilities for any student who wishes. One need not be transgender to feel uncomfortable being undressed in front of others. Many teens are uncomfortable with their bodies for various reasons. Others may have cultural or religious prohibitions against being in a state of undress with others, even of the same sex. Private spaces are the only answer, no matter how costly. 

CommentID: 89856