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.
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
2/3/21  11:58 pm
Commenter: Linda

Strongly Oppose

While I believe that each person should be considered valuable and shown kindness and respect, the basis for many of the guidelines in the proposed policies really have nothing to do with this at all. They will not really benefit the transgender students in any way, and are based on promoting deception of one kind or another. It is encouraging students of all ages, from the very young to the often tumultuous teenage years, to question the truth of the biological sex that they were born with and to possibly make life altering and harmful decisions based almost entirely on "feelings" alone long before they are mature enough to understand the consequences of such decisions.  The teaching and promoting of this ideology based on the definition of gender identity, (Definitions, P.6) will not help to reduce the confusion that some students have with their own feelings.  It will however, add confusion to the majority of students who accept that they are the biological sex/gender that they were born with and would never have even thought of questioning it. Studies show that a large percentage of children suffering from gender dysphoria have the feelings alleviated when they go through puberty.  Stop focusing on gender so much and start affirming the qualities of the individual as a human being. As well the proposed policies promote the idea of secrecy from their parents which is another form of deception which is also infringing on parents' rights.  It assumes that the school officials know what is better for the child than that child's own parents and encourages the child to trust them more than their own parents. This is harmful to the unity of the family. The parents have the right to know if their school age child is involved in a behavior that may be harmful to their child or goes against the religious or moral convictions that they are teaching them. There are many cases with children, that if their parents had known in time what they were really doing they could have addressed it and helped steer them away from far worse consequences than "parental disapproval". The premise that gender identity is based on the innate sense of the person, regardless of the biological truth (male and female chromosomes and reproductive organs), and that it does not require proof of any kind and can change after any duration of time (Recommended Standards, P 12), means that basically the entire school staff, student body and parents have to adjust the entire way that classrooms are run based on the personal feelings of a very small minority. Not to belittle their emotions, which are a very real source of concern to some of them, but no other people group has required the entire surrounding population to change the grammar of the language that they use (referring to pronouns) to avoid offending them. While the common use of good manners, kindness and respect toward others should be observed by all no matter what race, gender or religious belief or the lack thereof, expecting teachers and other students to begin to learn and memorize a  possibly endless and constantly changing list of new pronouns, which can apparently be made up at will and on a daily basis by the transgender students, and try to remember who gets called what each day is not only impractical, it is pretty much impossible. Teachers will be in danger of losing their jobs if they do not refer to a student by the chosen pronouns, causing some to have to go against their conscience and lie when they call what they know to be a "he", a "she" or else face serious consequences.  This is discrimination against their religious convictions and a form of harassing.  Students of both sexes are in danger of having no privacy from having the opposite sex in restrooms or locker rooms with them.  All of this is caused by the "innate sense", i.e. feelings, of a student, that cannot be proven and which are not required to have any substantiating evidence, and which they can then claim to change at any time, no questions asked.  And based on the definition of "gender identity," how can anyone really know that a biological teenage boy, for example, is actually truly identifying as a girl and is not just claiming to be so that they can get a peek in the girls' locker room?  Having gone through public school P.E. class and having had to strip down, shower and dress just with other girls, I can say it was extremely difficult being that exposed even to people of the same sex, especially during the time of puberty, and I dreaded it every day.  I cannot imagine what the students under these policies would feel having to be in those conditions along with the opposite sex.  Is all of this really what public school is to be about? It seems to be creating a very self-centered society that is overly sensitive and offended by everything.  How about using the hard earned money of the taxpayers who support the school system to actually teach academics such as reading, writing and arithmetic, along with true history, science, (remember biology in which, for thousands of years, people were born male or female?) and the Bible, which used to be taught, and which contains a wealth of wisdom which is sadly lacking in the educational system, as well as good character traits like honesty, integrity, honoring parents, hard work and excellence? I say no to this proposed policy and very strongly oppose it. 

CommentID: 97196