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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Agency
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  3:30 pm
Commenter: T.S.

Opposed.
 

I oppose the section of this policy that appears to pit children against parents and puts educators in the role of casting the deciding vote. Parents have historically been in the role of guiding their children with disagreements handled by the parents themselves. No one questions that children are immature, lack experience, and need guidance. Many laws are geared toward the general recognition that children, until the age of 18, fall under the authority of their parents. This policy erodes that and places educators in loco parentis to best determine the child’s interest. Parents are compelled to either side with their children, even when they believe the child is wrong, or face the threat of CPS investigations. This bill threatens government force to compel parents to conform with beliefs that are at best poorly understood and subject to social pressures.

 

Transgenderism is a complicated issue; far too complicated for a blanket, across the board solution. The government is not well positioned to meet the needs of a complicated psychological issue, which typically require individual intervention. Furthermore, the lack of any test, such as psychologist/psychiatrist note certifying that the child in question actually suffers from gender dysmorphia, opens the door for the potential of abuse.

 

While the intentions for this bill are likely noble with a sincere aim to be compassionate toward the needs of children during a vulnerable time, the heavy handed threat of CPS, the lack of any psychological evaluation, and the placement of educators as having more authority than parents in determining what is best for the parents' children makes for a poor policy.

CommentID: 90394