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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  6:04 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Thoughtfully opposed
 

While I believe this document is well intentioned, as a parent I am very concerned about the resulting safety implications for all students, including those the document is designed to protect. In an effort to provide a safe and comfortable option to a segment of the population, the privacy and safety of the entire population is threatened. Given that restrooms and locker rooms are sensitive areas that cannot be monitored effectively due to appropriate privacy concerns, the potential exists for countless uncomfortable and even dangerous situations to arise for students who have no recourse but to allow anyone to enter their private spaces.

This policy is in direct conflict with the progress that has been made for women's rights, in particular. The policy appears to have no accountability, such that students who do NOT identify as transgender could simply enter whichever restroom or locker room they wanted - with no recourse available for those students who could be violated in the process. The possibilities of abuse, assault, lewd comments, etc., are predictable and entirely unacceptable. We need to be proactive in our policy making, so as to avoid the potential pain and abuse that this document will generate. I know we can develop better policy to protect all students involved, including the transgender community. For example, if a student is being harassed in any way in the restroom or locker room, it seems a private space should be made available - as outlined in the policy. But allowing anyone to access any restroom or locker room of his/her/their choice is fraught with shortsighted thinking and inevitable and avoidable dangers. Everyone should have access to a safe space for such private activities, and I ask that Virginia rework this policy to make sense for all of the populations under their care. 

CommentID: 96055