Last Thursday evening, hundreds of Fairfax County parents packed their school board meeting room to block the proposed changes to the Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum we recently told you about. The board was considering numerous changes, including moving controversial subject matter out of FLE into Health where there is no parental opt-out option. Other changes included adding gender identity (transgenderism) issues as “normal development” as early as seventh grade. The good news is that hundreds of parents concerned about these new policies turned out for the meeting! Although the board rejected two proposals to delay a vote on the recommendations, they did vote to keep some FLE subjects in FLE where there is a parental opt-out provision and not move them to Health. They did vote to include teaching about gender identity, etc., in FLE.
While this was by no means a total victory, the voice of parents was heard and the outcome was better than it likely would have been without action. However, I am deeply disturbed that when parents showed up with “Protect Parents’ Rights” stickers and made their voices heard, a member of the Virginia General Assembly called them “bullies.” Read more on this outrage on our blog.
I tell you about what happened in Fairfax so you’ll be prepared when this effort comes to your community, and believe me, it will. If it hasn’t already. Just last night The Family Foundation met with a group of concerned parents in Prince William County to help prepare them in case this issue comes to their community. If you would like to have us come to your area, please let us know by contacting Roger Pogge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a world where elected officials seem to pass policy before voters know what’s in it, parents need to be vigilant to see exactly what content has remained and what subject matters might now be taught without parental opt-out. If you have your child in a Virginia public school, I urge you to review the FLE curriculum and ask your school if issues related to sexuality are being taught in other subjects. Remember, our belief is that these issues should be determined at the local level and not through the General Assembly.
If you are dissatisfied with the decisions made by your school board, get engaged in the upcoming school board elections. Find out who is running and where they stand on parental involvement, and on what sexual issues they believe should be taught. And then educate friends, family members and co-workers to have a big impact on the elections in November.