Monthly Archives: May 2018

URGENT — comment on Family Life Education/sex ed changes

Sex Ed Review Complete — now it’s our turn.

The review of FCPS’s Family Life Education (sex ed) by the Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC) is complete. Now parents and the public can review the recommendations and comment.

And you need to comment! Your voice must be heard! FLECAC voted to teach school children that sex is “assigned at birth” and that a person’s gender identity might not agree with his or her body. But they refused to consider teaching children about the risks and complications associated with medical gender “transition.” FLECAC refused to teach all children about the risks and side effects of contraceptives and controversial HIV drugs. FLECAC has even suggested removing “clergy” from a list of resources for children. One member of the committee boldly proclaimed in meetings that “biological sex is meaningless.” No wonder their recommendations are so reckless and lacking in common sense.

School board members will vote on these recommendations on June 14, so please make your comments by the June 8th deadline. The radical liberals on Fairfax County’s School Board are still planning to enact the transgender regulations that were put on hold two years ago. They will try to use passing these dangerous changes to FLE as a springboard to granting access to opposite sex facilities by gender confused students.

The link to the official recommendation by FLECAC is available for review, but we’ve drafted some talking points to help. We at Concerned Parents and Educators oppose the FLECAC recommendations and support the Dissenting Opinion in every respect where it differs from the majority report. We trust you to read and come to your own conclusions, but we’ve drafted some talking points for your use if you need them. Feel free to cut and paste the following language into the body of your email to FLEcomments@fcps.edu with the subject line “FLECAC report”:


I disagree with the FLECAC recommendations and urge you to adopt the Dissenting Opinion. The vote totals in the report reflect a lack of diversity of thought on the committee as a whole, and insult the rich ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of the FCPS community. As a result, many of the recommendations of the committee contradict the best interests of children, the wishes of parents, and basic facts of human sexuality.

As detailed in the Dissenting Opinion, in accord with scientific research and educational best practices, I support:

  • Using “biological sex” rather than the ideological phrase “sex assigned at birth.”  Replacing the term “biological sex” with the unscientific phrase “sex assigned at birth” is a gross injustice to all children. The use of this term violates parental trust that schools teach children scientific fact, not political ideology or popular opinion.  FLE terminology must be consistent with FCPS science curriculum that chromosomes, anatomy, and hormones “determine an individual’s sex”, beginning in utero (Prentice Hall Biology Textbook for VA SOL’s, p.341,1009, among many others). 

 

  • Include instruction of medical risk in the discussion of gender identity.  FLECAC voted against any discussion of the health risks to children of “gender-affirming” medical interventions and suppressed any instruction of the known and often irreversible consequences of medical “transition.” The current lessons provide no context whatsoever for the social, hormonal, or medical treatment of gender dysphoria in children, its relative rarity, and significant challenges.

 

  • Do not expand promotion of the controversial drug PrEP to grades 9-12. FLECAC recommends expanding teaching of a new and controversial drug, but without instruction of side-effects. PrEP is now discussed in 10th grade, but with no disclosure of “serious and common side effects” listed by the manufacturer of Truvada as the worsening of Hepatitis B, kidney damage, and bone loss (especially concerning in children). Further, there was no consideration of unintended consequences such as undermining condom use in populations at high risk for HIV.

 

  • Require instruction on the risks of and side-effects of contraceptive drugs and devices. FLECAC voted to refuse to require instruction of the risks and side effects associated with commonly used contraceptive drugs and devices. These risks and side effects (“advantages and disadvantages”) are reviewed by 10th graders, but not 8th and 9th graders who also learn about obtaining and using them.

 

  • Maintain right to opt-out; abstinence; clergy. Several other recommended changes are also troubling, including moving lessons on family conflict from FLE (opt-out) into Health (mandatory); refusing to teach children that abstinence is 100% effective at preventing the sexual transmission of sexually transmitted infections; and removing the word “clergy” from a list of resources for students. These measures show poor judgement and cross the line from FCPS being an honest broker of information to FCPS usurping parental authority. 

For these reasons, I recommend the school board (and staff where it is within their power to do so) reject the recommendations of the FLECAC and adopt the recommendations made in the Dissenting Opinion.

I request Fairfax County Public Schools give serious consideration to making student participation in Family Life Education opt-in, instead of opt-out. Controversial topics in FLE go far beyond the facts of human reproduction and now require the “affirmative consent” of parents, rather than parents merely “not saying no.” FCPS is a leader in many ways, including in making FLE lessons available on Blackboard for parents to review. FCPS can also lead the way for further parental engagement by treating Family Life Education instruction with the same care required for field trips – signed affirmative parental consent of participation.

Thank you.

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Please comment on the FLECAC report and SHARE THIS INFORMATION with everyone you know who would be concerned children and family: your family, friends, and neighbors. ANYONE can and should comment.

Please comment on the FLECAC report until June 8 COB. FLEcomments@fcps.edu

Email the school board to let them know how you feel about putting sexual rights before the sexual health of our children. If you can, schedule a meeting with your school board member to explain how you feel about these changes and the rights of ALL students to privacy and safety.

As always, thank you for your continued support of our efforts on behalf of the precious children of Fairfax.