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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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1/16/21  10:50 am
Commenter: Eric Hooks

Stop Sexualizing Children
 

Young children are not mature enough to make major life-changing decisions, which is why they are legally under the guardianship of adults, typically their parents who love them and want the best for them. It is also why they are subject to juvenile court systems and why attendance at school is mandatory. Many aspects of the law rightly recognize the need to guide and protect young children as they mature. While this guidance document pretends to further that cause, the truth is quite the opposite - and tragic. This guidance document is partly a response to Virginia choosing to no longer vigorously defend itself in the courts against unfavorable rulings stemming from enforcement of its prior, sensible policy.

Prior, sensible policy recognized the importance of creating a safe learning environment for ALL students, which requires moderating the excessive behavior of some students when they become potentially harmful towards others. A very small but very vocal minority of students, outside activists, and policy makers have banded together to try to normalize the aberrant and often self-destructive behaviors associated with gender dysphoria in young children. Worse yet, they seek to affirm these aberrant behaviors by forcing others to play along and call children by preferred pronouns, made up names, etc. This is nonsensical and encourages other youths who are merely attention seeking to mimic such behaviors because of the attention and control it grants them.

Worse yet, it creates opportunities for sexually curious or sexually predatory children to parade into the bathrooms, locker rooms, and sleepovers of opposite gendered children and victimize them. What about the rights of the majority of children to privacy and security? And where will this end? Will male faculty be able to identify as female on a whim and parade into the girls' locker rooms as well? If not, why not? Where is the logical end to this? None of this is even the worst part of this guidance document though.

The worst part is that it champions a duplicitous approach of deceiving parents who are opposed to this nonsense by referring to their children according to their legal name and gender when communicating with the parents about their children, while duplicitously indulging young gender dysphoric or merely attention-seeking children behind their parents' backs in the school setting. Driving a wedge between parents and their children has become the job of Virginia public schools? Abrogating their responsibility to create a safe learning environment by protecting young children from sexualization and sexual predation has become the job of Virginia public schools? Encouraging and indulging sexual dysphoria in young children has become the job of Virginia public schools?

Ask yourselves - why have we maintained these gender distinctions over the centuries? Is all that is past bad? Is all that is past harmful and malevolent? Or could some parts of culture and custom perhaps be beneficial? Could they even represent tacit wisdom that should only be very cautiously discarded and replaced after careful consideration and consensus-building? Has it occurred to you that gender distinctions may be more beneficial than harmful? Has it occurred to you that parents who love their children might care more for their long-term health and development than you do about this politically charged issue of the day? Has it occurred to you that this naked affront to the guardianship of parents over their children will instead further drive a wedge between parents and the public school system? What are you really trying to accomplish here? What alternatives have you considered? Is there a better solution that does less harm?

CommentID: 90347