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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  9:31 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Fundamentally Flawed
 

The proposed model would be devastating to Virginia’s families, children, and parents, as well as many teachers and other school staff.

  • It would deny their right to freedom of speech, including freedom from compelled speech. It would also violate the right of parents to raise their children according to their own values and beliefs, which is specifically protected by Virginia Code Section 1-240.1.

  • There is already a prohibition against harassment and bullying of students and unauthorized disclosure of their personal information, regardless of their gender identity. The proposed model would make transgender students a specially protected class of people above cisgender students (e.g., by treating the status of a transgender student as “particularly sensitive”), thus violating cisgender students’ constitutional right to equal protection of the laws.

  • The proposed model would create an unsafe and stressful environment for cisgender students by requiring them to share their bathrooms and locker rooms with transgender students who have not fully transitioned. This would be especially unsafe and stressful for cisgender girls.

If the Board of Education truly cares about the well-being of all students and their families, then it must revise the proposed model to correct these fundamentally flawed policies.

CommentID: 96628