January 25, 2021
Dear Arlington Parent Coalition member,
The deadline for comments is one week away! Your voice is important!
Comments on the Virginia Department of Education Model Policies for Transgender Students must be completed by February 3rd. These deeply problematic policies, which will affect every public school student and public school employee in the Commonwealth of Virginia, were summarized in emails sent on December 29th and January 5th. If you have not done so, please take a moment to comment and ask friends and neighbors to comment, as well. The link and tips on how to make your comment most effective follow below.
Why bother making comments? Don’t the Biden administration policies and one-party system in Virginia make any resistance to this agenda futile?
No. Please remember that this creates a public record of concerns and the VA Department of Education is obligated to read and consider the comments. Substantive concerns from the public may force the model policies to be modified before being sent out to all the school districts. In addition, the issues presented in the comments help local school boards and administrators shape and their internal discussions about the wisdom and feasibility of the policies. Furthermore, the comments provide evidence of grassroots resistance which could prove cautionary for politicians. Midterm elections are just two years away.
Why is APC using materials from Virginia faith-based groups as resources?
When Arlington Parent Coalition (APC) formed almost two years ago to fight the Arlington Public School accommodations for transgender students, we intentionally did not align ourselves with a specific religious or political worldview. We strongly believe in parents' constitutional right to maintain responsibility and authority over their children and their children's education, and to raise children according to the family's values. These rights transcend politics and any specific faith tradition. However, the need to network with other advocacy groups is evident now that these issues are statewide. Remarkably, APC is one of the only grassroots parent organizations in Virginia. The only two state-wide organizations that are fighting for parental rights are The Family Foundation of Virginia (TFF) and the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC.) APC has tapped into their expertise on education-related issues so we can better inform APC members.
What should I write?
Todd Gathje, TFF Director of Governmental Relations, emphasized the need to respond substantively, rather than emotionally to the document. Tips for effective comments include:
Address a specific concern (e.g. parental rights, governmental overreach, girls’ safety) rather than religious or emotional opinions about sexual orientation or gender identity.
Incorporate your professional insights or expertise (law, medical, education, child development) into your comments if possible.
Cite what has happened in Arlington Public Schools as evidence of how undermining these model policies are to parental rights, child development and family values.
If you are comfortable giving your name, do so. Writing anonymously is also fine. Please identify if you are writing as a parent of a child attending public school, or are a public school employee.
Want more guidance?
Sample language from the Virginia Catholic Conference can be found here or use the Virginia Family Foundation’s Top-10 List of Reasons to Oppose Transgender School Policy to help write your comments.
Want to alert friends about these concerns but aren’t sure what to say?
Start with these talking points!
PLEASE ENTER YOUR COMMENT HERE AT THE VIRGINIA REGULATORY TOWN HALL.
Arlington County parents can offer a powerful commentary on the dangers of school systems embracing transgender ideology. We applaud every parent who chooses to take action, share information, and challenge the indoctrination of our children.
Arlington Parent Coalition