- The Virginia Department of Education’s Guidance Document, “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools,” violates parental rights by allowing public school personnel to keep parents in the dark about their child’s ”transgender” behavior at school. Pursuant to VDOE’s guidance, “[i]f a student is not ready or able to safely share with their family about their gender identity, this should be respected. There are no regulations requiring school staff to notify a parent or guardian of a student’s request to affirm their gender identity . . .” [p. 12]
- Schools will affirm a student’s decision to identify as the opposite sex by referring to the student by the student’s chosen name and pronoun, and, in violation of the privacy of other students, by allowing the student access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers of the opposite sex.
- Any parent that learns of their child’s new “transgender” behavior at school, and is not supportive, could potentially face being reported to Child Protective Services. [p. 14]
- Schools will permit children, as young as kindergarten, to be in control of asserting their “gender identity.” Children will be the sole arbiters of their status. The VDOE guidance does not “require any substantiating evidence nor any required minimum duration of expressed gender identity.” [p. 13].
- The Virginia Department of Education asserts that disclosure of a child’s new “gender identity” to parents who are not supportive may “pose imminent safety risks, such as losing family support of housing.” [p. 12] But parental rights should not be overridden based on a school employee’s subjective assumption that a parent might do harm.
- By forcing teachers to use pronouns that recognize a student as a member of the opposite sex, the religious beliefs of many teachers will be violated. Moreover, teachers’ authority will be undermined, as teachers attempt to address the student by the student’s chosen pronoun. The guidance states:
“Many transgender students will adopt the gender pronouns typically associated with their gender identity. For example, most transgender girls will use she/her/hers pronouns, while most transgender boys will use he/him/his pronouns. There may be a less common pattern of pronoun usage among nonbinary students. Nonbinary students, as well as transgender students, may use gendered pronouns like she/her/hers or he/him/his, use gender-neutral pronouns such as they/them/their or ze/hir/hirs, use multiple sets of pronouns interchangeably, or use their name in place of any pronoun.” [p. 13] (emphasis added).
The Virginia Department of Education’s “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools” can be found here: https://townhall.virginia.gov/L/GetFile.cfm?File=C:\TownHall\docroot\GuidanceDocs\201\GDoc_DOE_6968_v1.pdf
Two lawsuits are pending in court against these “model policies.” To stay abreast of developments in these lawsuits, sign up for Pro-Family Women’s e-mails on our homepage here: https://profamilywomen.org/