Many of us took advantage of the public comment period during January to register our rejection and/or comments about the Transgender Students policy mandated for Virginia public schools. The final document, Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools, was released on March 4 and e-mailed to all who submitted comments.

Essentially, contents of the original policy and the final release are the same. Areas addressed include compliance with nondiscrimination laws that will assure transgender (TG) students have a safe and supportive learning environment free from bullying and harassment. This is certainly advocated by the Prince William & Manassas Family Alliance (PWMFA).

Students also are to be given privacy about their gender identity as the student and/or family chooses, and their school records are to be treated with confidentiality. If and when an alumnus/a of the school adopts a gender identity different from when a student, their school records must be updated to reflect that alumnus/a change of identity when they request the same.

The new policies assure that TG students’ rights to wear gender-appropriate clothing and to be addressed by their chosen name and pronouns are accommodated. School staff are to receive training in how to observe all facets of the policy.

What was maintained within the final policy that raises the most alarm is that TG students have the right to use bathroom, shower and changing room facilities used by all other students according to their gender identity. While the policy does make room for schools to provide single-person bathroom and changing facilities for use by ALL students, the fact remains that schools still have to maintain gender-neutral bathroom, shower and changing rooms. Our kids should not have to be exposed to such invasion of their privacy and modesty!

The policy very much upholds what are deemed the rights of TG students, while it does not address equally the rights of the majority of their classmates who are not TG. Clearly, the PWMFA does not sanction this move and considers it a breakdown in morality, respect for God and our created bodies and for each other.

Parents’ rights are marginalized by the Policy, and TG students’ rights are given preference to the wishes of parents if they differ.

One good thing about the Policy: TG students are not permitted to participate in athletics of their gender identity. Other states have demonstrated that biological males who participate in female sports excel by virtue of their strength (testosterone), and women are not a match for them.

— Posted by Tom Salmon for Doris, a fellow member of the Prince William and Manassas Family Alliance

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