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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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State Board 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  7:52 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

Support from a former student

As a former VA public school student and a sibling of a transgender former student, I fully support the proposed policies. Growing up while trying to balance fitting in and being true to yourself is hard enough. These kids are so brave to be their authentic selves, at the risk of being bullied and the difficulties of navigating a  system designed for two genders. Putting policies of protection in place can only help to ensure that our school systems are not the reason for more distress in the lives of these young people. For every transgender or non-conforming child, there are dozens of students who have the opportunity to see acceptance and allyship modeled by teachers and administrators, facilitated by these policies. As the parent of a child with Down syndrome, I know that society has come a long way from a policy of institutionalization to inclusion. We now know the immense benefits of integrating children with special needs into classrooms with their typically-developing peers, and they continue to break barriers every day. I can only hope that one day we will look back on policies such as those proposed here and recognize the positive effect they have had on students’ mental health and their ability to thrive.

CommentID: 96282