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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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1/13/21  4:46 pm
Commenter: Elisabeth Townsend

Preserve civil rights!

We must honor the dignity and worth of all people. People should be free to make decisions about their lives and express their views without fearing they will be bullied, punished, ostracized, or muzzled.

Unfortunately, THIS BILL WILL NOT ACHIEVE THIS. It does NOT support transgender students, because it destroys the kind of society that protects freedom; it thwarts anyone who dares to question and goes beyond requesting tolerance to forcing approval, regardless of your own views, beliefs, choices, questions, or objections. It is a totalitarian move to wipe out dissent so one perspective can dominate culture, law, and social norms. It tramples on the civil rights of anyone not spouting the party line.

The issue isn’t whether trans students are allowed to be who they are, it’s whether Americans are allowed to co-exist in society with differing viewpoints and still respect and support each other. This bill is shrouded in the language of caring for mistreated people, but its true purpose is to enforce strategic and systematic punishment (loss of career, income, social standing, and more) on anyone who dissents. We are already seeing the terrifying effects of belittling and dehumanizing anyone who doesn’t share “approved progressive” views (Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple making it impossible for those with opposing perspectives to even have a voice in society). We cannot allow this to happen in a microcosm on our campuses as well. If trans students want their voice to be heard, they MUST allow opposing voices to be heard as well, otherwise they become guilty of the very thing they want to abolish and are the source of the intolerance they decry.

This bill won’t even allow people to remain silent. Respectfully opting out of the conversation is no longer an option. This bill demands people positively affirm ideas they oppose and actively express support for policies they do not believe in. It makes hypocrites of the transgender community (who demand their civil rights are honored while trampling on the rights of others) and of those who disagree (by forcing them to affirm things they don’t believe). This bill makes hypocrites of us all.

Instead of muting people who have opposing views, we should invite healthy conversation in communities and encourage students to ask robust questions, demand well-researched answers, think for themselves, and express their views--even and ESPECIALLY when they differ with other views. We must teach civility at an early age by supporting the free and frank exchange of ideas in every corner of our communities.

When businesses, laws, governments, parties, and social groups punish those who disagree with them, we have lost a unique and precious treasure—a country where everyone has a voice. EVERYONE.

I STRONGLY urge opposition to this bill to preserve freedom and protect EVERYONE’S civil rights.

CommentID: 89904