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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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1/14/21  3:30 pm
Commenter: Benjamin Burkhart

perhaps well-intentioned; but over-reaching.

Everybody wants students to be safe, and feel safe, in schools. However, Government and School Officials should abstain from involvement in very personal, emotional, psychological discussions related to gender identity and sexual preference, particularly for children. For certain, the parental role in sensitive discussions related to sexuality and gender should never be breached by a school official unless demonstrable physical harm is present. This document seems to leave room for a teacher, who may not agree with a parent's approach to their child, to identify said parent as a risk to the student's well-being. That is wrong; and dangerous. Presently, Virginia Public School students are rewarded, with regularity, for below-average demonstration of basic skills: spelling, grammar, math and reasoning. Virginia Public Schools, and local school boards, would serve all students and families well to first improve the quality of education. Better education leads to better leaders, and better economic opportunity, regardless of gender identity or preferences. This initiative, and so-called "Model" robs energy and resources from more important initiatives that benefit the entire spectrum of students. Virginia students deserve better.

CommentID: 90024