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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1/5/21  9:09 am
Commenter: Kathleen Cantwell

Policy for Transgendered Students

I am opposed to these policies.

First of all, any policy from the Department of "Education" that refers to "sex assigned at birth" needs to be put on hold until our "educators" can review basic biology. Sex is determined by chromosomes - not a doctor or mid-wife crying out "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" Well before genitalia develops, the XX or XY chromosomes are already in place to determine the sex of the child.

Obviously, this policy is not about biological sex but perceived gender. The language should still reflect science accurately where possible. Since gender by today's standards is prone to change at a moment's notice with no obvious outward signals, asking educators to address such a fluid issue is too much of a burden to place on anyone. I suggest we agree to acknowledge some children may feel differently from their appearance but while they are a child, stick with what is knowable and defined. We place age limits on many issues that require a minimum amount of experience and maturity. Let's decide gender "choices", at least within the confines of our schools, must wait until post high school. Is that fair? It's reasonable. Children learn to wait for a whole host of opportunities until an appropriate age or the completion of basic schooling. Meanwhile, let's educate our children and leave parents or counselors to address typical sexual or "gender" confusion and questions - not teachers!

If these policies are approved, we will lose many good teachers who simply will not be able work within the scope of these requirements - not because they are hateful, but because it is an impossibility. 

I suggest we get back to figuring out the basic mission of the schools and work on addressing that.





CommentID: 88161