ALL Students Deserve a Safe, Welcoming School
What: Virginia General Assembly Joint Commission on Administrative Rules Meeting
When: December 19, 2022 at 10:00 AM
If you would like to attend and speak in person…
Pocahontas Building, Senate Room B
900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
*Note that in-person attendees do not need to register for public comment. Seating is available on a first come first serve basis. Speakers will be given 3 minutes to share their comments.
If you would like to speak virtually…
- Use this link.
- Fill out the required items on the form.
- At the bottom, where it asks you to select the topic on which you would like to speak, choose “Guidance document.”
The deadline to register to speak at the meeting virtually is 12 PM on Sunday, December 18, 2022.
For all who wish to participate:
The public comment time will cease at 11:30 AM. Please keep your message under three minutes (see below for points you may wish to include).
The commission asks that those who wish to speak at the meeting submit their comment in writing to Holly Trice at [email protected] by Sunday, December 18, 2022 at noon. These comments will be shared with the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules members and published on the commission’s website.
- Former administration’s 2020 Model Policies for Transgender students explicitly sought to keep parents in the dark about their child’s gender identity at school.
- Those policies said, QUOTE: “There are no regulations requiring school staff to notify a parent or guardian of a student’s request to affirm their gender identity, and school staff should work with students to help them share the information with their family when they are ready to do so.”
- Over the past two years, parents have been villainized and excluded from vital conversations about their child’s education, health, and wellbeing at school. These policies sought to do just that.
- It is not only immoral, but also illegal, to exclude parents from these conversations. Parents, by Virginia law, have QUOTE “a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.” This is Virginia Code 1-240.1.
- The Youngkin administration’s 2022 Model Policies, “On the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia’s Public Schools,” uphold the dignity of all Virginia’s students and families. This includes children, and families of children, who identify as transgender or gender-nonconforming.
- The Youngkin administration’s policies simply require public school officials—employees who are hired to serve the public, meaning all children and all families—to keep parents informed about their child’s mental and physical health, including if and when a child decides to live as the opposite sex at school. The policies simply codify existing state law that gives parents the right to be informed about, and make decisions for, their children’s health and wellbeing.
- Those who support policies that exclude parents from a child’s decision to live as the opposite sex at school often demonize parents. “Outing” a child to their parents, they say, could lead children to commit self harm or suicide.
- All Virginia teachers are Mandatory Reporters. Teachers who believe a child is being harmed at home are legally and morally obligated to bring the case to the proper authorities.
- Parents—not teachers or schools—are a child’s first and foremost caretakers. It is unethical, and illegal, for teachers and schools to usurp this power.