as a teacher I see firsthand how important it is for students to feel they are seen, heard, and cared for. There is no point in trying to deny or fight the notion anymore that there are people who identify as trans and will continue to do so. I continuing to deny acknowledgment and protection of this group, we are perpetuating a state that has been a time and again in education. It is imperative that we make the students feel safe, supported, and heard by offering them protections that are clearly desperately needed. We have an opportunity to address this now, rather than allowing it to be another case of Virginia falling behind.