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  11:58 pm
Commenter: FCPS Teacher

Opposed on Ethical Grounds - Encourage Dialogue instead of Silencing Concerns

As a dedicated FCPS teacher with a love and care for all students, I have significant ethical concerns about the guidelines proposed in this document. By instructing all school staff to take a student's gender identity at face value without any kind of supporting documentation, these guidelines minimize the possibility of exploring underlying psychological factors that may be contributing to a student's experience of gender dysphoria, and further, invite schools to keep this information from a student's parents. 

These guidelines also would compel speech from school staff who have good-faith concerns and reservations about a student's social and/or medical transition. This document pits teachers against students, and silences concerned voices, rather than encouraging a healthy and pluralistic school dialogue about what is best for students. 

I would ask our legislators to please think further about this topic, and as one example, examine this testimony from de-transitioner Keira Bell, whose witness led the United Kingdom to ban hormone treatments for minors: 


CommentID: 97198