To the editor:
The Virginia Department of Education has introduced a guidance document entitled “Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools.”
I am not against an adult being able legally to do lots of things that I would not do, but surely as adults, we should not allow children to do such things. I include in that list deciding the question as to whether one is a boy or a girl.
When children reach adulthood, they can decide for themselves who they are and take whatever steps they wish as a consequence of that. But children are and should be treated differently from adults for a reason. They are not mature enough to make such determinations. In fact, they should be protected from making such decisions until they are fully aware of what it means.
I am also appalled at the thought of punishing staff or students for not using the pronoun a student prefers. An individual can prefer whatever pronoun they like, but they cannot insist that a teacher or a fellow student use anything but the pronoun that corresponds to the child’s birth gender.
And thirdly, how can you force young girls to share their bathrooms with boys? Even if those boys claim to be girls? Physically they are boys. Why punish 99% of a school to accommodate the preferences of a fraction of one percent?
Finally, when the school is placed in loco parentis, it behooves them to inform the parents of any event that could impact a child’s well-being. If you want to drive parents away from public schools with all that that implies – including an unwillingness to pay their tax money to schools and administrators who implement such policies – go ahead.
You are making the best case I have yet heard for school choice.
-Janet L. Bates, Alexandria