I support the draft guidance supplied by VDOE. Both my children are public school students in Virginia.
I am disheartened to see the number of vitriolic and hateful comments here, but I know I should not be. People fear what they do not understand, and the first step in understanding is creating a safe atmosphere for people to learn. It is impossible to learn more -- at school, or about our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters -- when 84% of any group reports feeling unsafe at school. Schools should be safe spaces for ALL students, full stop.
I am a Christian, and Jesus makes himself very clear to me in Mark 12: 30-31. He does not say love my neighbor as myself as long as I'm comfortable with my neighbor, as long as my neighbor lives how I think they should, or even if I know my neighbor is living by His commandments (In fact, Jesus had something to say about judgement in Matthew, 7:1-3). He tells me to love my neighbor as myself. The same expectations I have for my own safety and acceptance apply to everyone.
Virginia has a terrible and shameful legacy of segregation and discrimination within education, going so far as closing schools and denying children an education, because of bigotry and white supremacy. The damage that was done decades ago by school closure and racist textbooks and more still lingers, and we will be working to address it for decades more. The issues LGBTQ+ individuals face today are different but still have similarities. We should learn from our past to prevent future shameful and damaging discrimination, especially when it impacts children.
Thank you for your attention, and I will be following the resolution of these model policies.