(CNS News) -- Virginia public schools may be required to forego father-daughter dances along with other gendered activities, according to model policies crafted by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) regarding the “treatment of transgender students” for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year.
Pursuant to § 22.1-23.3. of the Code of Virginia, the VDOE must develop “model policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools,” and schools must then “adopt policies that are consistent with but may be more comprehensive than the model policies.”
“School divisions should make efforts to eliminate gender-based practices,” states the VDOE’s Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia's Public Schools.
“Gender-based policies, rules, and practices can have the effect of marginalizing, stigmatizing, and excluding students, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression,” states the model policy.
The VDOE proposal lists gendered activities that schools ought to do away with, including “gender-based homecoming or prom courts,” limitations on who can attend as “couples” at school dances, and gender-based events such as “father-daughter dances.”
The Code of Virginia was amended to include this section under Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, who signed the bill in 2020.
The model policies make a point to note that, “Activities and events do not include athletics,” and instead defer to the Virginia High School League.
“The Virginia High School League (VHSL) has provided policies regarding the participation in gender-specific sports team by transgender students,” according to the VDOE.
The Virginia High School League allows biological men to compete on women’s sports teams and vice versa, providing that the student “has undergone sex reassignment before puberty… is verified by appropriate medical documentation as having a consistent identity different than the gender listed on the student’s official birth certificate or school registration records, or … hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimize gender-related advantages in sports competition.”
As for overnight accommodations, undressing, and showering, the VDOE says, “For overnight field trips, the school should not force the student into single-occupancy accommodations that are not required for other students; however, such alternative accommodations should be made available to any student requesting them.”
“It is important that school divisions adopt policies and procedures that are focused on the safety of all students and seek to address privacy interests in situations involving individuals undressing or showering,” they add.
According to Just The News, “The Virginia Department of Education did not clarify when asked about the overnight policy and several other provisions of the guidance.”
The Supreme Court recently denied a writ of certiorari for a case concerning transgender individuals using the bathroom of the opposite gender. Only Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito voted in favor of hearing Gloucester County School Board v. Grimm, Gavin, two short of the four votes required.
None of the three “conservative” Supreme Court justices picked by then-President Donald Trump – Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch – sided with Thomas and Alito to grant cert.