School boards across Virginia are being required by our legislators and the Virginia Department of Education to review their policies and developed protocols that are inclusive and affirming of trans and non-binary youth.
Sadly, districts statewide, and right here in Hampton Roads, are rejecting these guidelines. We need your help to let Virginia Beach, our state’s second-largest city, know that they must become a model school district and support our youth.
SAMPLE LETTER TO SEND TO THE SCHOOL BOARD:
You can email the school board at: VBCPSSchoolboard@googlegroups.com
Please protect our transgender and non-binary youth
from harassment and discrimination
Dear Virginia Beach School Board Members,
As school boards across Virginia review the new guidelines and requirements to protect our youth, we are writing to encourage you to support the Commonwealth’s transgender and non-binary policies so that students can thrive in our classrooms.
In 2020, LGBTQ+ organizations from across Virginia traveled to the General Assembly and shared their stories of harassment, inequality, fear, and anxiety with our elected officials. The General Assembly saw fit to create model policies and statewide guidelines to ensure students were affirmed, free from harassment, and given the safest possible experience in our schools. Experts, stakeholders, and students with lived experience helped craft the legislation you are reviewing and voting on. These policies are informed by many other states that have passed similar protections.
Additionally, dozens of school districts (and boards) across VA have seen the value in these policies and have passed them for their communities. We believe that is the right thing to do, and they are strengthening their schools and educational opportunities for everyone.
Courts across our nation – including the Supreme Court of the United States – have affirmed transgender and non-binary students’ rights over and over again.
We know that 21% of trans and non-binary students have attempted suicide, compared with 8-9% of their peers. We also know that trans and gender non-binary students experience anxiety and depression at a much greater rate than their peers, undoubtedly in part because of the bullying and harassment these students face daily from teachers, faculty, and their classmates.
You are entrusted to do what is best for all our students and to create a safe learning environment. We ask you to vote in support of measures that will make our schools safer and free from bullying and harassment.
Thank you for your time,
[YOUR NAME HERE]