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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  9:57 am
Commenter: Anonymous

Policy Disagreement

There are numerous issues with the policy document, but I only have space to comment on a few.

First, the writers frequently use the phrase 'may be interpreted' when referring to federal and state statues. This is not the domain of policymakers. They are to refer to and enforce the law as written (not their interpretation) or by using the interpretation established through appropriate legal actions, i.e. through the courts. Nothing more.

Second, the research and surveys that form the basis of the assumptions and policies delineated here are flawed from a scientific standpoint. They started with presupposed outcomes. Should the State actually desire to form good policy it would be more appropriate to delay this release and take two actions. One, reach out to more parents and legal guardians providing a forum for discussion without recrimination and condemnation of view points that are counter to gender ideology. Two, support research that does not presuppose the outcome to understand the actual scientific facts of the issue and situations facing students today.

Third and most importantly, the State has no business in this arena in the first place. This policy document directs schools to further overstep their bounds and insert themselves between parents and their children. The school system's only responsibility is to educate children to ensure a well educated voting populous, nothing more. Parents need to step up and retake their children from the government. Stop ceding the responsibilities taken on in parenthood.

Fourth, definitions are everything. It is unfortunate that this is even an issue here, but the definitions listed in this document are based on nothing but feeling without regard for language or scientific principle/fact. So often we hear the call to follow the science, so let's follow the science and get this drivel out of our laws and policies.

CommentID: 94989