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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.
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2/3/21  12:20 pm
Commenter: Claire Hewer

STRONG SUPPORT- all children need a safe environment!

As a former FCPS virginia student i am writing in FULL SUPPORT of this act. It is essential that we support our children and provide a safe place for them to learn and grow. This is especially so for our most vulnerable students, including trans and nonbinary individuals. Many transgender students may not receive the support and kindness they need at home, and it is vital that schools remain a safe and supportive place for them to take refuge.


Transgender students are particular vulnerable to abuse and can struggle with mental health issues when facing discrimination and violence. The transgender suicide rate is staggering, in both children and adults. We cannot let more children fall victim to this.

There have been several concerns in opposition to this plan regarding sexual assault. This is primarily based in falsehood and bigotry. It is a common attack used against the transgender community in reality does not exist. Several studies have shown that supporting trans people and allowing to use their bathroom/ locker rooms of choice has no evidence in increased sexual assault. There are literally no cases of sexual assault committed by trans individuals once granted access to the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity.


Transgender students will remain in our schools whether the school administration wants to acknowledge them or not. It is vital we provide them the support and protection they need. Ignoring them would be detrimental to their mental health and safety.


When people are brave enough to stand up and be who they are without shame, the world becomes a better, more interesting place. It is our job to support and protect these children. 


Thank you

Claire Hewer

CommentID: 95310