Virginia Dept. of Education publishes new transgender policies, instructing schools to end gender-segregated activities

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , ,

by Karen Faulkner, Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Virginia’s Department of has published a document titled Model Policies for the Treatment of Students, in which it instructs local school boards to end sex-segregated activities that may cause transgender students to feel marginalized or excluded, Just the reports. School boards have until the start of the 2021-2022 school year in September to adopt policies in line with the Model Policies document.

The Model Policies document was drafted to align with a new law requiring the Department of Education to develop policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than state-level guidance on how to treat transgender students in schools, Just the News reports. The document provides school boards with “information, best practices, guidance, procedures, and standards” in developing policies for transgender students.

“Gender-based policies, rules, and practices can have the effect of marginalizing, stigmatizing, and excluding students, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression,” the Model Policies document states. As examples of practices to be avoided, the document suggests: “grouping students for class activities, gender-based homecoming or prom courts, limitations on who can attend as ‘couples’ at school dances, and gender-based events such as father-daughter dances.”

“Students have the right to equitable access to programs, activities, and events that include but are not limited to acknowledgments, dances, assemblies, after-school programs, extracurricular activities, intramurals, non-competitive sports leagues, and field trips,” the document states.
The school district noted that school staff would be entitled to “question a student’s asserted gender identity when there is a credible basis for believing that the student’s gender identity is being asserted for some improper purpose.”

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