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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  1:51 pm
Commenter: Susan Migliore


While well  intentioned, these proposed policies are extremely problematic. They articulate views - such as the view that "Gender identity is considered an innate characteristic" - that are unproven and far different from those of many parents. Through its blanket endorsement of views like these, the VDOE has gone far beyond the path the General Assembly prescribed. 

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition, gender dysphoria prevalence accounts to 0.005-0.014% of the population for biological males and 0.002-0.003% for biological females. There are few studies examining adult outcomes for children who present as transgender, and those few studies indicate that more than 2/3rds of pre-pubescent children who present as transgender eventually drop their trans identity and desist to their biological sex.

Given that there are no objective or reliable methods to differentiate between temporary or mistaken transgender identities and persistent ones, schools should not be promoting the especially harmful view that youth is an appropriate time to engage in sometimes irreversible "gender transitions."

In the laudable desire to provide support to the small percentage of students with Gender Dysphoria, the school system cannot disregard the health and welfare of all other students. Schools have a duty to protect the bodily privacy and dignity of all students. No child should be forced to share showers, locker rooms, hotel rooms or other intimate settings with a member of the opposite biological sex. Finally, the model regulations infringe the First Amendment rights of parents to raise and care for their children and have the potential to pit children against their parents when it comes to important questions about sex and gender identity. 

CommentID: 95511