A Virginia school board has decided to teach seventh-graders about sexual orientation and gender identity, much to the dismay of many angry parents.
The Fairfax County School Board, in the shadow of Washington, voted to approve the new “Family Life Education Curriculum” at a meeting last week in spite of the incensed parents, CNS News reported.
Students will learn to define heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and gender identity in the seventh grade.
The eighth-grade curriculum will teach that gender identity has four parts: biological gender, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual).
In ninth grade, students will learn that sexuality is a continuous evolution from infancy to old age.
In 10th grade, the curriculum dictates that gender identity and sexual orientation “will be discussed with focus on appreciation for individual differences.”
“Do you want gender identity to be introduced to seventh grade?” Andrea Lafferty, parent and president of the Traditional Values Coalition, asked the crowd, who shouted back “No!”
Lafferty also lamented the process of a vote last month by the board to include gender identity as a protected class, according to CNS News.
“The night of the gender identity vote, I explained to Superintendent [Karen] Garza that parents were upset about the process,” she said. “To my surprise, she responded tersely and claimed the process had included parents.
“Parents, do you feel you’ve been involved in the process?” she asked the crowd, who again shouted “No!” CNS News reported:
The school board passed the changes to the curriculum to angry cries from those gathered. The vote was 10-2 with board members Elizabeth Schultz and Patty Reed voting no on the curriculum changes.
The board disregarded motions by Reed and Schultz to postpone the vote so that board members and parents would have more time to consider the proposed changes.
“I am very concerned that we’re watching a legacy of an environment that is setting this board at odds with parents,” Schultz said. “Certainly policymaking done on the fly without consideration of the people on whom the policy has the greatest level of impact –and to do so without a great degree of care and to make sure that we’re representing the people who have elected us to be here — can only yield bad policy.”
Schultz said she’s concerned that the curriculum may prompt lawsuits:
“Now our time is going to be distracted and taken away from the real work of the board. We should be worried about educating 186,000 students and not about all of this peripheral political stuff.”
In addition to their concerns about the changes to the sex-ed curriculum, parents voiced objections to the school board moving controversial items from the Family Life and Education Curriculum to the mandatory Health Curriculum, which would prevent parents from opting out.
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