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VEBA Strongly Opposes the Virginia Department of Education 2022 Model Policies

26 Oct 2022 2:43 PM | Mayme Beth Donohue

The Virginia Equality Bar Association has officially submitted its public statement in opposition of the Virginia Department of Education's 2022 Model Policies on the Privacy, Dignity, and Respect for All Students and Parents in Virginia's Public Schools (the "2022 Model Policies").  As a recognized expert in legal name and gender marker changes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, VEBA calls on the Virginia Board of Education to reject the 2022 Model Policies and for school boards across the Commonwealth to decline to adopt the 2022 Model Policies. They are legally unsound and cruel and will undoubtedly cost the Commonwealth precious money and energy defending these overtly illegal policies in court.  

As described in greater detail in VEBA's public comment, VEBA's critique of the 2022 Model Policies is grounded on the following legal arguments:

  • There is no legal document that durably reflects sex assigned at birth, or supposed “biological sex,” in Virginia.
  • There is no reasonable legal basis for requiring a legal document to change a student’s sex in official school records.
  • The 2022 Model Policies ignore legally established sex/gender designations.
  • The 2022 Model Policies implicitly require intrusive physical examination of students’ bodies, which would not serve any rational interest and would make youth more vulnerable.
  • The 2022 Model Policies ignore the fact that intersex people exist.
  • Adopting the 2022 Model Policies will knowingly lead to protracted and expensive litigation despite already inadequate levels of funding for public education.

The public comment period remains open until 11:59 pm tonight, October 26, 2022.  If you have not done so already, please feel free to leverage VEBA's comment or submit one of your own on the Virginia Regulatory Townhall Website.  

For a downloadable PDF of VEBA's full statement opposing the 2022 Model Policies, please click here

Special thanks to VEBA Board Members, Wyatt Rolla and Laura Manchester, and Volunteer Clinical Program Director, Bary Hausrath, for their time and effort drafting VEBA's public statement. 

(c) 2016 Virginia Equality Bar Association

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