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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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1/15/21  2:26 pm
Commenter: Deirdre B.

Opposed
 

Transgender student policies-  All students deserve to be treated with respect, I hope that goes without saying. They deserve to have a safe environment free from harassment. 

The majority of these policies however, go far beyond offering students what should already be their basic and universal rights, and cross the line into infringing upon parental rights and responsibilities for their children. 

A parent has the right to know about such monumental and possibly life altering decisions that their children are making.  In a perfect world parents would already be talking to their children about such things, but even if they aren’t schools shouldn’t have the right to supersede that relationship with no notice to the parents.  

Additionally, if no “evidence” is to be provided, and no student is to be questioned, and students are able to decide or change gender identity at any moment, what’s to prevent any student at any time from deciding a change in gender and going into any bathroom/ locker room they choose? It may sound absurd, but as written these policies do not protect the majority of students in these situations. 

Additionally, requiring all kids to wear gender neutral clothing for a small percentage of the school population is simply over reaching. Any person that is uncomfortable in “gendered” clothing should be free to wear something gender neutral- but why make other students conform to that? Where would it end? No headbands/ barrettes, bows?  It may be splitting hairs but such a policy would cause more problems than it attempts to solve. 

Finally, what constitutes harassment, besides the obvious forms of bullying? And why would a parent not be informed if their student was accused of it? Basic respect should always be the standard, but what of the many religions that are opposed to changing genders? Is there any protection for those students in these situations or is respectfully voicing an opinion equal to harassment and bullying?  These issues are not clearly defined. 

I do not support these policies. 

CommentID: 90179