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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  12:41 pm
Commenter: Grace Venes-Escaffi

Support for the Guidance Document

I support the right of every student to feel safe and represented in their learning environment. Part of a productive learning environment is the ability to feel safe and know that your rights are acknowledged and protected. Anyone who is against this on the grounds that "it's forcing different beliefs on my children" is incorrect and has clearly not read the purpose of the guidance document - it is to PREVENT DISCRIMINATION and I think we all know there is no good argument against that.

I am a cis-gender alumna of FCPS schools and I support the rights of the next generation of students to be represented and protected in an equitable manner that is recognized in official school R&R policy. We are not teaching or forcing any beliefs on students - simply preparing them for the real world which is diverse and full of people of all different identities. We are not teaching them what to believe in, simply that their beliefs can be practiced in a way that does not antagonize or minimize quality of life or learning for other students. 

The US Constitution is very clear on one thing: we have the right to believe anything we want, and exercise those beliefs - AND, that our rights END wherein they infringe upon those of OTHERS. Essentially, if you "don't believe in" trans identity, you are entitled to that belief, however you are NOT entitled to harass or otherwise disrupt the learning experience of trans and non-binary students. Discrimination is unconstitutional, and I'm glad our state is making strides to stamp it out in our education system.

CommentID: 95356