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  9:56 pm
Commenter: Corey Lastinger

Parent of Virginia Transgender Student Strongly Supports

We are the parents of three children. One of our children is transgender and socially transitioned in elementary school. We were forced to move from York County to Newport News when the York County School District informed us that our daughter would not be allowed to use the girls’ restroom. Forcing our young daughter to use the boys’ room or a staff bathroom would have sent a message to her every single day that her school and her community did not believe that she was a girl even though her heart and parents know and love her as who she knows herself to be. This would also have outed her to all of her friends and classmates. She would have been ridiculed and stigmatized because the very school and teachers our children trust would be telling all of the children and our daughter through this active exclusion that she doesn’t actually exist. The message would be simple and incredibly painful, “girls can use the girls’ room but you cannot because you are not a girl.” These policies will protect our daughter and so many other transgender elementary students we personally know in Hampton Roads. Not everyone can move to another, more welcoming place in Virginia as we were able to do. I know that there are children in elementary, middle and high schools in Virginia every day who cannot even begin to learn and grow until they are first allowed to exist. This is what these policies do for our daughter and so many others. They do not create special status or special rights, they just ensure that transgender children are allowed to exist with the same rights and status as all other Virginia school children.

CommentID: 96742