Several states and school districts have adopted policies directing or recommending that public schools conceal transgender students’ gender identity and gender transition from their own parents. Many states and districts have also implemented policies requiring students and teachers to use whatever pronouns others in the school demand. In contrast, the Virginia Department of Education recently proposed a model policy that takes the opposite approach. If adopted, the Virginia policy would require public schools to partner with parents if their child seeks to socially transition their gender and prohibit schools from concealing such information from parents. Additionally, the Virginia policy would prevent schools from compelling students to use the preferred pronouns of others or affirm gender-related ideological beliefs they may not share. At the same time, the policy would require public schools to ensure that transgender students are treated with respect, compassion, and dignity, and would require teachers to use a student’s preferred pronouns with their parents’ knowledge and approval. In so doing, Virginia’s proposed policy achieves a balance between respecting constitutional rights and the parent-school partnership, and creating respectful and inclusive environments for transgender students.
FAIR has submitted a public comment expressing our support for Virginia’s model policy. We encourage you to submit your own comment in support as well. Click the button below to download suggested comments.