Virginia Catholic Conference

Oppose transgender regulations proposed by VA Department of Education
January 8, 2021 by Jeff Caruso

Model policies disregard role of parents

 


Your input is needed!
 
What:  Oppose transgender policies proposed by the Virginia Department of Education.
 
When:  Comments must be posted online no later than 11:59 pm on Feb. 3.
 
Action: Click HERE and then on “Enter a comment” on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall website, and tell the VDOE they should not disregard the role of parents in public education.
 
Background: In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly enacted two bills – opposed by the Virginia Catholic Conference – to require the Virginia Department of Education to draft model policies for the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools (HB 145 and SB 161). Signed by the Governor on March 4, the new laws mandate that school boards adopt such newly developed policies by the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year -- or use them as the basis for even more over-reaching ones. 
 
If VDOE approves the draft policies, they would undercut parents’ involvement in the life of their children at school, and endanger the bodily privacy and safety of all students. Take action to protect children and parental rights in public schools. Join the Virginia Catholic Conference in opposing the VDOE’s harmful policies. Click here and then on Enter a comment on townhall.gov. Feel free to use one or more of the following talking points:
 
  • The proposed policies articulate views – such as the view that “Gender identity is considered an innate characteristic that most children declare by age five to six” – that are far different from those of many parents. Through its blanket endorsement of views like these, the VDOE has gone far beyond the path the General Assembly prescribed.
  • Schools have a duty to protect the bodily privacy and dignity of all students.
  • No child should be forced to share showers, locker rooms, hotel rooms or other intimate settings with a member of the opposite biological sex.
  • Many children would feel uncomfortable when they encounter a member of the opposite sex – particularly adults – in gendered facilities or when entering a shared hotel room as part of an overnight school activity.
  • Children, particularly adolescents, can experience hypersensitive and traumatic reactions to these situations.
  • Schools should not be accommodating the especially harmful view that youth is an appropriate time to be encouraging, in some cases, irreversible “gender transitions”.
  • The model regulations infringe the First Amendment rights of parents to raise and care for their children.
  • The Department’s proposed policies would pit children against their parents when it comes to important questions about sex and gender identity.

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In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.
 
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The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.
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