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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  10:17 pm
Commenter: Philip and Stacy Gillett

Strongly opposed
 

Among many other concerning aspects of this policy, it undermines the rights and responsibilities of parents to protect and care for their children.

This policy seeks to place the state, in the form of school personnel, between parents and children.  There are myriad challenges that children will go through, especially during adolescence, and parents should always be the most trusted confidants, coaches, allies, authorities, and advisors.  Just as children will make mistakes in childhood, parents will make mistakes in parenting, but this is certainly no justification for blanket policies that wholesale supplant parents with agents of the state.

In the most general case, if a child and parent have a disagreement over an issue, that child and parent need to work through the issue.  Policies like this one would provide an avenue whereby a child, unsatisfied with the resolution provided by a parent, could simply obtain the outcome in secret with the help of a state employee.  Even for the most benign case this is extremely troubling.  In the case where potentially irreversible and life-altering decisions are at stake, this is unacceptable.

CommentID: 96834