The Fairfax County School Board is approving several controversial additions to the Family Life Education (FLE, or sex education) curricula, a program already under heavy criticism from parent groups. Most Fairfax voters, including parents, don’t know that FLE teaches information that is not scientifically based and potentially dangerous to children’s physical and mental health.
Here are just four of the many SHOCKING changes in sex-ed proposed for this September:
- The School Board recommends the use of a dangerous drug for grades 9-12. The new FLE recommends teaching students in high school about the controversial drug PrEP for prevention of HIV in children engaging in high-risk sexual behavior. The FDA just approved PrEP for children weighing 77 pounds or more – the median weight for 11-year old boys and girls, in spite of numerous studies show PrEP causes kidney damage and bone loss (especially concerning in children) and undermines condom use in high-risk communities. Adult victims damaged by PrEP have just filed a widely-publicized class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer. The School Board insists on teaching students about PrEP but not its side effects, in spite of years of studies showing the dangers.
- The School Board is now officially “anti-science” in the FLE. The FCPS science curriculum correctly states that chromosomes, anatomy, and hormones “determine an individual’s sex”, beginning in utero. But the FLE curricula contradicts that scientific knowledge. FLE insists on replacing the term “biological sex” with the unscientific phrase “sex assigned at birth.” The American Academy of Medical Ethics and the American College of Pediatricians have asked FCPS not to use the term “sex assigned at birth” because the use of this term violates the trust of parents and taxpayers that schools will teach children scientific facts, not unscientific fads.
- The School Board’s FLE curricula does not teach about health risks from medical intervention for gender dysphoria (“transgender”) in children. Parents have already criticized the FLE for teaching about gender dysphoria, a relatively rare condition, without any social or medical context. But if it is taught, then students should learn about the psychological and often irreversible physical risks of medical interventions such as surgery and drugs, for “transition.” The School Board’s FLE will not teach students about these risks.
- The new FLE ALSO refuses to teach about health risks and side effects of contraceptive drugs and devices for 8th and 9th graders, even though they are taught about obtaining and using them. Not until 10th grade are students taught about birth control risks and side effects. And the FLE will no longer teach that abstinence is 100% effective at preventing the sexual transmission of sexually transmitted infections. These demeaning policies put young girls at particular risk.
What grade do Fairfax voters give the Fairfax County School Board’s proposed Family Life Education?
F – for FAIL.
The old 2016-2017 FLE lessons were already offensive to many families in Fairfax’s diverse communities. The new 2018-2019 proposals are so outrageous that parents, clergy, medical associations and voters are now mobilizing in opposition across Fairfax.
How can we fix this? The School Board needs to follow the lead of other school systems and make FLE an “opt-in” program, not an “opt-out” program. FCPS already uses “opt-in” forms for parents to approve a field trip, or for a child to take an aspirin. The system can easily make the controversial FLE an “opt-in” program in the same way.
Here’s the problem. The Democrat-run School Board will never agree to empower parents with an “opt-in” program. But School Board elections will be held in 2019, and we can change the School Board. Visit fairfaxgop.org and help make Fairfax a better place to live – with safer schools and smarter elected leaders.
Photograph: CCO licensed