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  12:40 pm
Commenter: Product of the Alexandria Public School System

100% support

I support this guidance 100%. While I'm not trans, being allowed to use a nickname and dress how I chose when I was a student meant that I became a more confident and respectful adult.

I never go by my full first name, even professionally. No one questions me when I ask to be called by a shortened version nor do they question my partner who goes by a middle name. When people get married and change names, no one questions them nor their prefixes if they go from Miss to Mrs. or Ms. Even as a kid, I had friends who asked to be called by nicknames and again, no one questioned this. We dressed like weirdos but were sure to dress respectfully for more formal occasions like church and special events. Our clothing choices harmed no one. All of my weirdo friends are now middle-aged parents with desk jobs and single-family homes. We are in every way "normal". Being different as children didn't harm us for life and it meant everything that we could explore who we were in a safe way. Names and clothing can all be changed. The confidence and dignity that comes with being allowed to express yourself and be affirmed and respected for those choices makes an impression that lasts a lifetime.

Why are trans kids any different? Affirming who someone else is costs you nothing and means everything to that person whether it is calling them by a preferred name, letting them wear appropriate clothing that makes them comfortable, and/or using pronouns that reflect who they are. Seeing the joy in people who finally have their identifies validated is priceless. Schools have a duty to teach the whole child. This guidance is part of that. Please implement it.

CommentID: 88290