Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
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  11:48 pm
Commenter: Kenneth E. Smith

Strongly Oppose Guidance Policy on Treatment of Transgender

This guidance is couched in being all about transgender students.  In reality, it is more  directed at addressing the transgender issue in a vacuum, exclusive of consideration of moral values, religious vales, and most importantly family values.  THE MOST CRITICAL component of moral value development is within the family unit and particularly within the role of parents.  Parental prerogative and authority are being dangerously trampled upon by this Guidance Policy.  Regardless of where an individual stands on the transgender in general, to "deputize" classroom teachers and/or other school staff to decide when OR if a parent is informed of THEIR child's transgender.  It also places teachers in a compromising position relative to their own respective religious consciences.  This is not a matter of children (student's) rights or protection or transgender.  This is about the public school system "kidnapping" children form their parents to allow free range decision making among children at ages and stages of maturity not appropriate to make responsible life changing decisions.  To the extent the child is receiving influence, it would be from the school in the absence of the parent.  To even use words like abuse or neglect is an affront to me as a parent.  Parental teaching of deeply seeded religious beliefs to their children in their home is the dominant "right" at risk of infringement from this policy guidance.    This public comment period is essentially a joke and insult to parents, as it was not distributed to local school boards, local schools or parents and communities at large.  Public awareness would be non-existent, if not promoted through action alerts of various family oriented organizations.  Such government agency operation in darkness is un-American and cultivates an atmosphere of distrust.  It is a despicable abuse of power and exaggerated government over-reach.  I vehemently and passionately oppose this Guidance Policy and consider it offensive and unconstitutional in violation of religious freedom.

CommentID: 97136