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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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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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1/14/21  8:26 pm
Commenter: Kevin Tertocha, Elementary Teacher

Support
 

As an elementary school teacher, I absolutely support these proposed policies. If there is one thing that I know for certain with all of my heart it is that school should be a place where students, no matter how they identify, feel safe, loved, and respected. When guardians send their children to public schools, they are putting their trust in the adults who work at that school to care for their children and to look out for them. Yet, there are entirely too many LGBTQ+ children attending public school in Virginia, and the United States in general, who dread coming to school every single day, fearful of what might happen to them within the walls of the school building. LGBTQ+ children face bullying at levels much higher than those of their cis-gendered, heteronormative peers. This bullying can have dire effects on a student's mental health leading to depression, anxiety, or suicide. 

LGBTQ+ children are just that: children. These children exist all across the country and they are relying on the adults in charge to do their job and help protect them. My job is to educate these children, but I can't do that job if they are living in fear and feeling unloved. It is not a child's job to make you feel comfortable. It's an adult's job to make sure a child is comfortable being their true, authentic self and that they are safe while doing so. So again, I whole-heartedly support these policies.

CommentID: 90090