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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  3:02 pm
Commenter: Meredith

I fully support this guidance

I fully support this guidance and what it means for my students and their peers. My children are unaffected by sharing locker rooms and restrooms with trans and non-binary students. Their peers are also unaffected and not worried about this. This isn't an issue for the students, it is an excuse for adults to throw vitriolic statements at families of LGBTQ children. 

The truth is, and I suspect everyone involved with this process already knows, that our youth are in crisis. They are taking their own lives, dying by suicide in numbers that should alarm everyone. LGBTQ youth that are supported at home and school are 40% less likely to consider suicide than those who are not in supportive situations. This should be the basis from which we work forward. 

My children have lost friends that have died by suicide. We know many families that have children who have received inpatient care at pediatric mental health facilities due to overwhelming depression and anxiety. I have lost count of the students that have decided to home school or go to homebound education because their experiences at school have been so awful. All of these students identify as LGBTQ. It can't just be a coincidence. 

This guidance means more protection for youth. This guidance forces schools to adapt and educate their teachers and administrators about the challenges faced by our youth. This isn't going away. This isn't some fad or phase. We will either adapt or we will continue harming our children. 

I speak from experience, I speak from a place of knowledge and pain. I also have hope and continue to work for the best outcome for all LGBTQ students in Virginia.

CommentID: 95638