Author Archives: Meg Kilgannon
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.
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.
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.
Concerned Parents Applaud Trump Administration’s
Preservation of Title IX Protections
Fairfax, VA – Tonight Civil Rights offices of the Departments of Justice and Education released a long awaited revision of guidance on the application of Title IX to transgender students.
“Concerned Parents and Educators in Virginia and across the country are relieved by this clarification from the Trump Administration,” explained Meg Kilgannon, Executive Director of Concerned Parents and Educators. “The Departments of Justice and Education have formally rescinded the reckless and harmful guidance previously offered on this controversial issue. Title IX protections for women and girls are too important to sacrifice on the altar of an imagined new class of civil rights for the gender confused. Similarly, public schools are for everyone, including people of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or other faiths, whose beliefs were ignored and insulted under previous guidance.”
“Parents and teachers everywhere deplore bullying and harassment,” she continued, “Especially when it takes the form of the invasion of intimate spaces by persons of the opposite biological sex. Students and school communities do not need heavy-handed, top down federal guidance to ‘ensure that all students, including LGBT students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment.’ Local communities and school districts across the Commonwealth of Virginia — Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun County and beyond — can now have a reasoned conversation about how to best accommodate ALL children and students, including those struggling with gender identity issues. Parents and families must be respected as the primary educators of children rather than overpowered by the reckless overreach of federal bureaucracies or special interest groups.”
“Concerned Parents and Educators thanks President Trump, Attorney General Sessions, and Secretary DeVos for returning authority to local communities in the resolution of this controversial matter. We await with great anticipation the decision in the Gloucester County case and look forward to working with school officials on the state and local level to create educational environments of achievement and success for all students,” Kilgannon concluded.
Concerned Parents and Educators is a diverse coalition of parents, teachers, and stakeholders in Northern Virginia. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact 703-507-5998.
CPEFC on Supreme Court Decision to Hear VA Case
(Fairfax, VA) Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County (CPEFC) released a statement today regarding the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to hear Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., probably sometime this winter.
“This case will have far reaching implications for students in both Gloucester and Fairfax Counties, around the Commonwealth, and across the country. Issues of privacy, personal safety, and respect for religious and cultural values will be important factors for the Justices to consider. Many individual rights conflict in this case. We look forward to a ruling that maintains common sense protections for personal spaces of women and children and the protection of gains for women made under Title IX.
“While this case deals with bathroom privacy, the implications for student locker rooms and hotel rooms must not be forgotten. The Supreme Court must uphold fundamental truths about the dignity of each human person and protect personal spaces for both men and women,” said Meg Kilgannon, Executive Director of Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County.
Fairfax County Public School’s controversial Policy 1450 regarding treatment of transgendered students and staff is on hold pending the outcome of this decision. Parents have voiced strong objection to Policy 1450 since its speedy passage in May of 2016.
“Regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision on this particular case, our society has to grapple with these issues and determine how to preserve the rights of those most vulnerable, protect children from dangerous fads of pseudoscience, and treat all people with dignity and respect,” Kilgannon concluded.
Fairfax, VA — Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County (CPEFC) today released the following statement regarding the win for parents in Prince William County last night.
“Because parents spoke out on behalf of all children in Prince William, the School Board in Prince William County was forced to delay a final vote on changing their nondiscrimination policy to include sexual orientation and gender identity. It is wonderful to see parents engaging in this debate. When parents get involved, the community wins,” explained Meg Kilgannon, Executive Director.
“When we faced this situation in Fairfax, we had a compressed timeline for debate which was designed to eliminate public involvement or parent comment. We see now, by virtue of what happened in Prince William, why Fairfax County School Board Chairman (at the time) Pat Hynes used such heavy-handed, debate-stifling tactics. Parents know and can articulate why these policy overreaches are unneeded, illegal, and end up creating more problems than they solve,“ Kilgannon continued.
“Congratulations to the parents and families in Prince William County. Their victory is our victory; their fight is our fight. Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County will continue to work to engage parents and inform the public about this situation. The Public Trust has been broken, both in Fairfax and Prince William Counties. School boards across the Commonwealth and across the country should expect much more scrutiny from parents because of the reckless and ill-considered actions here in Fairfax,” she concluded.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County at 202-930-5347.
For Immediate Release
August 22, 2016
Fairfax, VA — Concerned Parents and Educators of Fairfax County released a statement on the decision of a Texas U.S. District Court to block President Obama’s guidance directive on the use of public school bathrooms and locker rooms by transgender students.
“Many parents in Fairfax County and all over the country are relieved that their children can return to school without worrying about personal safety and invasions of privacy in locker rooms and gender separate classes. Our daughters can return to PE class without worrying they may be forced to dress or undress in front of a biological male. Our sons can travel with school teams or arts groups without worrying they might be assigned to share a room with a biological female,” Kilgannon explained.
“This injunction gives us a valuable opportunity to have a conversation in Fairfax County and all over the country about what is best for ALL families and students. Fairfax County School Board’s Policy 1450 (and additional regulations) were handed down without reasonable time for consideration or debate by parents or the taxpaying public. If we are really seeking the best outcome for all children, then a reasoned and deliberate process must be undertaken to determine exactly what IS best for children in Fairfax County Public Schools, especially those experiencing gender dysphoria,” she continued.
“In addition, there has been very little discussion about what these gender identity regulations mean for teachers, especially teachers of faith. Can we compel a practicing Catholic public school teacher to use a pronoun that doesn’t fit the biology of the human person? This is a question than can now be fully explored and answered on the state and local level, as is proper in our American educational system.
“The rights of ALL students and teachers must be respected, but never at the expense of the rights of anyone else,” Kilgannon concluded.