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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  6:02 pm
Commenter: Mother of Arlington Pubic School students

Policy reaches beyond protections for discrimination.

It is very important that we don't discriminate and harm others for choices, experiences or feelings they have even if we disagree with them. Each individual should be allowed respect, freedom of choice and not be subjected to physical and emotional harm - period. These policies you, GLSEN and HRC are advocating for our schools, reach far beyond such respect and acceptance. First, redefining gender as defined in the policy is problematic in that it mandates everyone be taught and experience "freedom from prescripted gender." That each child should spend more time desperately trying to define what makes them them, and their biology is irrelevant in that quest. As if kids don't have it hard enough. The irony of the transgender argument is that at its very core is gender stereotyping. We women have fought long and hard to have space that males previously and solely occupied, and now this policy would cede the space back to them (Title IX). To suggest that a woman who likes to weld, motorcross, fish etc. or a boy who likes to cook, sew, prefers pink, or dress up like a princess is neither girl nor boy, but rather neither or something inbetween is still based on stereo types. If I am a motorcross girl, I can still be a woman with biology to create life. I don't need to identify as whatever I think I am (based on stereotypes) in order to be an actualized me. Gender Dysphoria is real for a very small percent of individuals historically. It is a real distaste for one's own body, not just prescripted gender. We can not stop our biology from its intent to carry and give life, or prevent testorone levels to double and triple well beyond the female body at and through puberty - this is prescripted in DNA. We can use advanced technology and hormones to try to prevent our DNA, which some do and some are now living with devastating regret. Where will the schools and government be to support the child on the other side of those physical and emotional challenges? Additionally, this policy does not consider the wholistic needs of a child. If we put a child into a state of living a life at school and hiding that life from parents (deemed non-affirming) as your policy allows for, we have now further harmed the child and the family. If we put girls who have been harmed by boys (#metoo) sharing a room on tour with someone with the other biology it puts them in a place of trauma. Is that fair to them? How about middle school teachers trying to keep track of the appopriate pronoun for the child's ever changing expression? There is no doubt these are difficult challenges for children and adults with dysphoria and a desire for identity expression. Support and care is needed. Adding gender expression as a first amendment protected right and thus requiring educational institutions to explore that right with all children, advocating that biology is irrelevant to those choices and orientations, is a complete overreach of the need to stop discrimination now. 

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