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.
Previous Comment     Next Comment     Back to List of Comments
1/4/21  10:34 pm
Commenter: Concerned Commonwealth Citizen

Very serious & potentially abusive proposals

It is very noble and appropriate that the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) is attempting to address the long overlooked needs of teens struggling with gender dysphoria (GD). The proposed "Guidance Document" unfortunately does not deal adequately with the root of the issues. Gender dysphoria is unequivocally a psychiatric disorder and has to be addressed within this context. Unless a school can ensure that any given student struggling with GD is in the care of an accredited psychiatrist, experienced in the management of teens with GD, attempts at "enabling" or "empowering" these students will only backfire. While it is certainly important for schools to create a supportive and harassment free environment for students struggling with GD, the open ended tolerance of any title /name the student wishes to be addressed will only further isolate & harm these students, and leave room for potential abuse. Likewise, the coercive & punitive articles aimed at both faculty & students who fail to adhere to these policies will likewise result in sowing disdain for the very students the Guidance Document seeks to help. 

CommentID: 88033