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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  7:09 pm
Commenter: Onna McKlennon, School Bus Driver, Amherst County, Va.

Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia's Public Schools

I am a Transgender Woman who lives in Amherst County and who works for Amherst County Public Schools.  I transitioned male to female while employed as a school bus driver and I gratefully accepted the support of many of those around me.  I also received (and still receive) rejection by those who disagree with the decisions I have made and the steps I have taken.  Many others express no opinion and consider it my business (toleration is just as good as open support).  I have hopes that those who reject me will eventually also come to tolerate me.  I have spoken before the school board several times during public discussion of school board issues, in an effort to increase the board's knowledge of Transgender persons.  I have laid bare my experiences and opinions as well as studies offering insight into the stresses and struggles of Transgender students and their families.  I have great empathy toward Transgender students and fully support this comprehensive policy as written.  Nothing should be removed.  Local boards will be required to adopt policies as comprehensive as the state policy, and with this document as their guide, the results will be a school system where, with reasonable accommodations, all can live and learn in surroundings molded to protect everyone equally.

CommentID: 89918