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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  9:54 pm
Commenter: Janet

As a child, around 8 years old, I struggled for approximately 5 years with strong desires to be a
 

As a child, around 8 years old, I struggled for approximately 5 years with strong desires to be a boy.  This policy that is being proposed for our schools is of great concern.  Growing up, I didn’t fall into the stereotype girl category.  This caused dissatisfaction with who my body indicated I was.  However, I also did not grow up in a culture that encouraged exploration into the possibility that I might be a boy trapped in a girl’s body or that I should possibly transition into a boy.  As I grew older, I was encouraged to accept the body I was given.  Eventually, I actually became thankful for my body and glad that I am a female. (I still prefer power tools to jewelry, and cutting the grass to cooking)

I see the destructive nature of this policy in that it does not really help children learn how to accept the wonderful bodies they have been given— uniting their minds and bodies as one.  Instead, it encourages the exploration and questioning of their sex being different than their bodies. This can cause a child much confusion, frustration, depression and suicide. This policy did not address the long term effects of children pursuing transitioning.  A very helpful website with discussion and resources from people who have struggled with this is livingout.org.

This policy is demanding that a certain type of speech be used by teachers, staff and students.  This is not free speech, it is censured speech.  If a certain speech is not used, according to this policy, a person can be accused of discrimination and harassment.  All students, teachers and staff should treat each other with respect because each person is of great value.  There must be protection of freedom of speech, freedom of not violating ones’ conscience or belief, and protection against discrimination and harassment for ALL and not just a certain group. This is where tolerance comes in for all students, teachers and staff.  This does not mean everyone has to agree on issues, but part of learning is listening to different views respectfully.

Schools should provide individual bathrooms that are available to all students. Opening up the restrooms and locker rooms to anyone who claims to belong to that sex but is biologically different is a violation of privacy and safety of those of that sex.

Since this policy does not provide protection for all students, teachers and staff, it should not be approved.

CommentID: 96735