On September 16th, Glenn Youngkin’s DOE released new draft model transgender guidelines. The model transgender policies were originally intended to protect LGBTQIA+ students, but the new guidelines only harm every Queer student. They include provisions that force schools to out LGBTQIA+ students, deny students access to school counselors, forcibly misgender transgender students, and ban transgender students from using the correct bathroom.
These new guidelines represent the single largest threat to Queer student rights in Virginia in years. The original model transgender policies were the cornerstone of Queer student rights in Virginia. These guidelines don’t just remove those protections, but they codify hate and undermine every student’s ability to thrive in school. Moreover, every school district is required to implement these guidelines.
However, it is important to know that we can still stop these policies. They are still just drafts, and the DOE can revoke them.
A public comment is a comment written by a citizen or organization stating their position on a specific issue. While public comments alone are unlikely to stop regulations, they do play a critical role in making our opposition clear.
The most important part of these comments is to clearly state your opposition to the model transgender policies draft. This can be as simple as making the subject line “I oppose these policies.”
Beyond that, your comment can be as long or as short as you’d like. A good comment, however, will: