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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  10:14 pm
Commenter: Paul Keiser

encourages children to deny or disdain their biologic gender
 

This policy mischaracterizes watchful waiting as unsupportive. Schools should acknowledge that changes happen as the brain develops and that the ultimate outcome is unknown at an early age.  Children should be allowed the freedom of self-expression without having to  adhere to a label that may not fit in the future.

As it pertains to bathrooms, this policy encourages transgender children to ignore or perhaps even mourn their biological gender.  We can affirm the rights of children to explore and develop their identity without encouraging them to disdain their anatomy.  There is no compelling reason why bathrooms should be selected on the basis of identified rather than biologic gender.  

There is clearly a need for more research on safety and long-term outcomes of a gender affirming approach.  

CommentID: 96819