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  9:47 am
Commenter: Alice Roddy

Policies for the treatment of transgendered students

The proposed rules or standards for the treatment of transgendered students will open the flood gates of dissention, chaos, and lawsuits. The legitimate interests of all the parties have not been considered in the rush to attend one particular subset.

For example, these policies ignore rights of freedom of thought and religion. They assert as fact that "gender identity is an innate part of a person's identity" but offer no evidence to the truth of this assertion.

They propose isolating and excluding parents who may have information about the student unavailable to school personnel and such ignorance may result in harm to the student.

The policies assume good motivation on the part of all claiming transgender status without considering that some may have salacious or other motivation in making such claims.

On the other hand, the policies assume bad motivation of the part of anyone who has difficulty complying. Our habitual language doesn't change on a dime and use of the "wrong" pronoun is as likely to be a slip as to be intentional. Anxiety about being accused of harassment may cause some to avoid speaking to or about anyone transgendered, excluding them in order to protect oneself.

These policies are like gasoline on the fires of the culture wars. They will also result in an exodus from the public schools to safer environs. Given the number of people who have left due to the COVID shutdowns, do the schools want to lose more?

CommentID: 88187