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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  2:48 pm
Commenter: J Underwood

Support Trans Inclusion Model Policies

As a parent of two middle school students who attend Virginia public schools, one a cisgender girl and one a cisgender boy, I fully support the Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia's Public Schools. School should be a safe, nurturing, and welcoming space for ALL students - especially those students who are most at-risk and marginalized like trans students. Schools that are inclusive for trans and nonbinary students are more inclusive for cisgender students as well.

Trans students do not pose a danger to cisgender students; in fact, trans students are more likely to be the victims of abuse and misconduct. Allowing trans students to participate in the PE class that matches their lived identity, participate on sports teams that match their lived identity, and use restrooms that match their lived identity takes nothing away from cisgender students. I fully recognize that schools must make policies that balance the needs and freedoms of all students - however, those decisions should never come at the cost of student health and wellbeing.

The suicide rate among trans youth is staggering. School is the only safe space that some students have, especially if their family is not supportive of their gender identity. They deserve safe, affirming, and supportive school experiences. The Model Policies help schools accomplish that, and take nothing away from the needs and experiences of cisgender children like mine. In fact, I want my children to learn and interact with peers who are able to live as their true authentic selves.

CommentID: 95615