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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  1:15 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

This needs to be revisited and revised

Children deserve protection, no matter who they are. However, there is concerning language here that allows the rights of parents to be potentially overridden, as well as the free speech rights of the teachers and other students. Holding an opposing opinion is not by default the same as bullying or aggression. There has already been a case in Westpoint,VA of a good and well liked teacher being fired for not complying to the degree demanded by a student and their parents. Nobody bothered to think of his rights, or the fact that he had a family to support. He did nothing harmful to this student, yet was treated like trash by the school administrators. This sort of silencing of differences is another face of the very thing that trans people are fighting for. Children should be taught to discuss and understand differences, and be resilient to the existence of respectful dissent.

Article 1, Section 12 of the Constitution of Virginia states:

"That the freedoms of speech and of the press are among the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained except by despotic governments; that any citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, nor the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for the redress of grievances."

CommentID: 95430