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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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1/17/21  6:14 pm
Commenter: Grandparent of child in Virginia

Model Policy for the Treatment of Transgender students is misguided

The proposed policy is misguided on many grounds.  I will highlight only three.

1.  Children need guidance from their parents, who have the moral and legal responsibility for their well-being.  The policy explicitly interferes with that relationship by excluding the parents in a crucial area of the children's lives.  Decisions about a child's gender should be made with parental knowledge, input and in most cases, with their consent.

2.  Children, by their very nature, are young and immature.  A fair reading of the policy would seem to allow school authorities and medical personnel to facilitate or at least encourage  puberty blocking treatment.  There is strong scientific evidence that such treatment is medically and psychologically damaging.

3.  Sports activities become a quagmire when children are allowed, at their whim, to decide that they are a male or female from one moment to another.  Yet the proposed policy seems to allow it.  There have been more than a few publicized cases where it is apparent on its face that a child with mostly, if not all, male physical characteristics, is able to compete against female athletes.  The inherent unfairness is self-evident.

There are some laudable goals here.  Transgender children should not be bullied.  We must act with compassion and understanding.  But cutting off parental knowledge and input is a bridge too far.

CommentID: 90527