Virginia School District Prohibits Teachers From Contacting Parents When Children Change Gender

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Virginia School District Prohibits Teachers From Contacting Parents When Students Change Gender

A Virginia school district is prohibiting teachers from consulting parents when students as young as kindergarten-age switch genders at school.

By: Washington Free Beacon, July 6, 2022:

Fairfax County Public Schools is instructing teachers and administrators to forgo parents’ permission when a student requests to use a bathroom or locker room associated with his or her so-called gender identity, according to screenshots of a mandatory faculty training module obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. The district will also allow schoolchildren without parental consent to change their names and on its virtual learning portal “identify as male, female, or nonbinary.” Teachers could not proceed with the “Supporting Gender-Expansive and Transgender Youth” training until they checked the correct boxes, regardless of their personal beliefs.

Fairfax County Public Schools—Image 1

Fairfax County Public Schools—Image 2

Fairfax County Public Schools did not respond to a request for comment. A county teacher said it was unclear what penalties teachers face for refusing to comply.

The teacher training module is the latest instance in which a public school board has implemented controversial policies without parental consent. A New Jersey public middle school forced students to watch a video about hormone treatment without notifying parents beforehand, the Free Beacon reported in March. Parents have informed the Free Beacon their children “socially transitioned” to another gender at school without their knowledge.

The news comes as parents nationwide have agitated for more oversight of public education. A Fairfax County School Board meeting in June saw dozens of parents turn out to oppose handbook rules that suspend students starting in fourth grade for using the wrong pronouns to refer to gender-nonconforming classmates. The school board adopted the handbook amid parents’ objections that the rules violate the First Amendment by compelling speech.

Three parents with children in the school district have formed an ad hoc “shadow board” to monitor and rebut the Fairfax County School Board. Its first meeting, which was held opposite the county school board’s own meeting on Thursday, discussed recent lawsuits the district faces for sexual assault accusations, the prospect of sex education becoming co-ed to accommodate transgender students, and pushback by left-leaning education groups after Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin (R.) initiated a tip line to report “divisive practices” in public schools. The Virginia Association of School Superintendents, which is now headed by Fairfax superintendent Scott Brabrand, called in a March 10 letter for the tip line to be “terminated.”

Members of the so-called shadow board say the current school board is out of step with parents’ demands for quality education for their children.

“It is unconscionable that even with plummeting standardized test scores and record-level teacher vacancies in Fairfax County Public Schools, board members remain hyper-focused on politicizing education,” Stephanie Lundquist-Arora, a Fairfax mom of three and shadow board member, told the Free Beacon. “This recent ‘gender-inclusive’ training, meant to indoctrinate teachers and keep parents from knowing critical information about their own children, is irresponsible and borderline criminal.”

Luke Berg, deputy counsel at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, told the Free Beacon the teacher training is also unconstitutional.

“Policies like this violate parents’ constitutional right to raise their kids,” Berg said. “We are currently suing two Wisconsin school districts over similar policies, and I’m aware of roughly 10 other lawsuits around the country on the same topic, including two in Virginia—one against the Harrisonburg City school district and another against Loudoun County Public Schools.”

Republican members of Congress including Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Rep. Jim Banks (Ind.) have written companion pieces of legislation to stop such policies. The Empower Parents To Protect Their Kids Act, which was introduced in the Senate in October and in the House in June, cuts federal funding for schools that conceal information about students’ gender identity from parents or pressure students to go through with a gender transition.

“Schools should never be allowed to impose radical, harmful gender ideology on children—especially without parents’ knowledge and consent,” Cotton said.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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