Parents rally as VA school board mulls vote to change sex-ed classes

by Chris Lange

Chris Lange, FISM News


A Fairfax County, Virginia school board has postponed a vote on controversial changes to family life education (FLE) classes, but that didn’t stop parents from showing up at the board’s Thursday meeting to voice their collective disapproval of the proposed changes.

In a move reflecting either defiance or tone-deafness in the wake of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s astonishing victory in the historically blue state, which was widely viewed as a referendum on woke school boards, Fairfax County is mulling changes to the FLE classes in the name of gender equity. 

The board’s sex-education committee has recommended the elimination of separate gender classes, proposing to instead combine boys and girls in grades 4 through 8 for all classroom discussions on topics like puberty, human reproduction, and sexually-transmitted diseases, according to a Fox News report

The board is also purportedly considering increasing penalties against students who fail to use their classmates’ preferred pronouns, which the board refers to as “malicious misgendering,” and against those who “deadname” a peer by referring to the name he or she used prior to “transitioning.”

Despite the vote’s postponement, a group of parents rallied outside Fairfax County’s Luther Jackson Middle School during the scheduled school board meeting to protest the proposed changes. 

Elizabeth McCauley, a member of a parents’ group called Virginia Mavens, said the board seems bent on teaching children gender ideology that defies logic and biology.

“I think just the basic of saying what is falsehood is true,” McCauley told Fox Digital. “Boys are boys and girls are girls. And God has uniquely designed each individual the way they are.”

McCauley slammed schools for exposing children to pornographic literature and other materials she said are being used to “groom” them. She also decried the fact that administrators are focused on indoctrinating children to progressive ideology at a time when Virginia schools are falling behind. 

In fact, only 33% percent of eighth graders and 38% of fourth graders in Virginia are proficient in reading, according to a study referenced in a Fox News report last month. Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow said controversial COVID-19 school closures put in place by Youngkin’s predecessor, Ralph Northam (D), exacerbated already low numbers resulting from the former governor’s progressive school standard changes, which Balow said particularly harmed minority students.

Fairfax parent Thomas Ferguson said schools have crossed over the line of what is and is not appropriate for young students. 

“These are very, very dynamic, real world, adult issues,” he said. “And we’re starting at kindergarten through third grade. And things that, frankly, even adults struggle with, as we know. At that age, it’s kind of important to just major on the basics. Reading and writing and arithmetic.” 

“Our issue is not with the transgender community, but with these policies’ violation of students’ and families’ First Amendment rights,” explained Fairfax parent Stephanie Lundquist-Arora, who helped organize Thursday’s rally. “Board members should be focused on learning loss over the pandemic, and improving standards of education – rather than on gender politics,” she added. 

The FCPS Board has postponed the vote until June 16, a move Lundquist-Arora said was made with calculation, since many families will be taking vacations and involved in other summer activities at the time.

“But our energy and dedication to preserve parental rights and stand for the First Amendment will not wane,” she asserted.