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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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2/3/21  7:55 am
Commenter: Melissa McGee

Strongly oppose transgender school policies
 

I strongly oppose the transgender guidelines for public schools. As a mother of 4 children ranging from 4-12, and as an LPC therapist, who practiced in VA for 10 years working with teens, I feel these transgender guidelines take it too far. 

While bullying is never acceptable, neither is alienating a parent from their child nor infringing on ones constitutional right of freedom of religion.

It is wrong to take away a parents rights and responsibility to raise their own children until they are 18, as they see best fit.

Based on science, children and teenagers brains are not fully developed, their reasoning skills and ability to be able to view decisions from various perspectives are still being developed and honed.

It is both wrong and abusive to remove a parents God given authority in their own child’s life by implementing guidelines that would encourage secrets about gender identity kept from parents.

Those secrets would potentially destroy a family for generations. Not to mention, a parents job is to guide their child. If their parents are kept in the dark, who is guiding these children/teens? Who?

It is also unconstitutional to require students and/or teachers/staff/volunteers whose religion prohibits them from seeing transgender as biblical to denounce their own faith.

We have the freedom to worship and requiring a student to go against their value system is a form of oppression so severe that it will create lasting consequences that we haven’t fully studied.

What you are proposing is a slippery slope.

Essentially, you are saying whatever a child wants to do with their body they should be allowed to do, in secret. And that their parents could be reported to CPS if they try to intervene.

I guess that logic would apply to a severely depressed suicidal student? Or an anorexic or a bulimic student that wants to vomit up their school lunch every day, or a drug addicted student who wants to ingest any and every mood altering substance they can get their hands on, or a student who wants to cut themselves to relieve pain??

I understand that it is a helpless feeling to watch a child struggle to figure out who they are and to watch their parents make decisions that we disagree with, but your guidelines would be irresponsible and detrimental to a family and to a students long term health as well as open up the door to future alienation for parents in other circumstances.

We do not have all the control nor are we meant to have all the control.  Students come from families and until they are adults, the parents have every right to know what is going on with their child. No secrets. 

As a therapist, I understand firsthand what it is like to witness a parent make bad decisions that poorly affect their child(ren). However, it is not my job or my responsibility to raise their child; my job is to listen, and walk alongside them.

In conclusion, I strongly oppose these transgender guidelines. Students are not adults, yet, and should not be treated as such when making a gender decision.  Also, Students, teachers, staff and volunteers should have the freedom to not have their values or religion infringed upon. These are constitutional rights and the guidelines you are proposing violate them. 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

CommentID: 94819