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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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2/3/21  2:01 pm
Commenter: Stephanie

In Support of Policies for Treatment of Transgender Students
 
As a science educator, I am in full support of the guidelines developed in support of transgender students. It is the job of teachers to ensure a positive, safe, and nurturing learning environment for all students. Teachers have the power to either create a safe space in their classrooms or a hostile and alienating space for trans and gender-nonconforming students. As stated in the policy document, "a 2019 national survey by GLSEN found that 84 percent of transgender youth feel unsafe at school." A study from the American Academy of Pediatrics (Toomey et al., 2018) found over 50% of trans* male participants and almost 30% of trans* female participants had attempted suicide at some point in their lives. These rates compare to around 9% for cisgender boys and girls. This is a pretty clear indicator that trans* students feel unsafe either at school or at home.
 
I should add as someone who studied molecular biology and genetics, biological sex is way more complex than simply X and Y chromosomes and secondary sex characteristics, and has nothing to do with gender (a self-concept) or sexuality (to whom someone finds attraction). For anyone who is curious about the distinction between these concepts, you may find this site informative: https://courses.lumenlearning.com/atd-hostos-child-development-education/chapter/defining-sex-gender-and-sexuality/
CommentID: 95529