Change Coming to Family Life Education in FairfaxJun 05, 2015
On June 25, the Fairfax County School Board will vote on recommendations from the Family Life Education (FLE) Curriculum Advisory Committee. Click here to watch a video on the changes to FLE or alternatively you can read the Committee’s report here. There is much to be concerned about! For example, the concept of “gender identity” is presented as “normal development” as early as 7th grade. And in 6th grade, access to new school and community health care services is presented and it’s unclear whether parental consent is required or not for these services. It’s additionally troubling that the Committee’s report only speaks of its broad objectives. If the report is passed at the June 25th Board meeting, then and only then will the full lessons be written. Essentially it’s a “pass it and then you’ll be able to see what you passed” scenario.
Currently parents can opt their children out of Family Life Education if they find the material to be objectionable. But perhaps the most concerning part of the report is that many FLE lessons are being removed from the FLE curriculum (which parents can currently opt their children out of) and placed in the Emotional and Social Health curriculum which is NOT available for parental opt-out. For example, lessons of different family structures, roles in a family, and family as a basic unit of society will be removed from FLE and placed in Health with no opt-out.
It is crucial that you are at the School Board meeting on June 25th to show your concern. The School Board meets at Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church. The meetings start at 7:00 pm.
Here are some additional ways you can get involved:
- The Fairfax County School Board is taking public comments on these and other changes to the FLE curriculum until June 19. These changes will be voted on at the regular meeting on June 25. Click here to send your comments to the School Board. FLEcomments@fcps.edu Suggested talking points are:
- Do not move FLE topics to Health. Keep the FLE opt-out intact.
- No discussion of gender identity in 7th - 10th grade FLE.
- Make it easier to opt-out. For example, put opt-out forms in orientation packets for all children.
- Attend the next two School Board meetings, June 11 and 25. If you can only attend one meeting try to be at the June 25 meeting when these changes will be voted on.
- If you are a member of a local church in Fairfax, ask your pastor to announce these policy changes and ask members of the congregation to contact their School Board member and show up at the meeting. The Family Foundation can provide bulletin inserts and/or slides for use in your church. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if your church would like these materials.
Thanks to former Fairfax County School Board member Mychele Brickner for the information contained in this email. To learn of other ways to get involved in this issue at a local level, contact Mychele at email@example.com.