Cathy Ruse is Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared in The Stream on February 23, 2017.
That warm breeze you feel is the collective sigh of relief by the nation’s moms and dads, now that the reckless Obama bathroom mandate has been rescinded.
But in counties like Fairfax, will it make a difference?
Even before the Obama administration evolved on transgenderism, the Fairfax County School Board voted 10-1 to make showers, locker rooms, bathrooms, sports teams — even hotel rooms on overnight trips — open to opposite-sex students who claim a gender contrary to their biology.
Fairfax administrators weren’t bribed or cowed into making these radical changes. They ran at them with open arms.
The Fairfax County school system is one of the largest in the country, and its governing body one of the most Left leaning.
For nearly two years, school board members have heard from angry parents who sign up to speak at their biweekly board meetings. Like the mom who testified that it is dangerous and reckless to allow biological males onto girls’ sports teams. She told them she fears for the physical safety of her petite daughter.
And the Muslim father who, having moved his family to Fairfax County for its schools, has taken his daughters out of public school but can’t afford another private tuition for his young son. “Public schools should be for everyone,” he said, through tears.
Beyond showers and sports teams, there is also the matter of sex education. The Fairfax County curriculum is now replete with positive references to transgenderism. The lessons speak of children who are “assigned the sex of male” at birth but who really have a “gender identity of female.” Students are taught that some people“transition … to living and presenting themselves as the gender that matches their gender identity.”
Included in the over eighty hours of sex ed planned for each student from kindergarten through twelfth grade are numerous examples of age-inappropriate, excessively graphic, and controversial material, going well beyond what is required by state law. One lesson for eighth graders includes 18 mentions of the phrase,“anal sex.” Videos on sexual violence prevention include the themes of a stepbrother taking dubious photographs of his stepsister and a father raping his daughter.
Earlier this month a high school freshman named “Katie” (a pseudonym) was forced to sit through a highly politicized LGBT lesson at the beginning of Math class, via closed circuit TV. Her parents were not given the opportunity to opt her out. They weren’t even given notice.
“After watching the video, it was my impression that the Fairfax County school district was attempting to force me to believe in something that doesn’t respect my beliefs,” Katie told the Fairfax County School Board at a recent meeting. “The whole situation made me feel stressed and uncomfortable.”
Even battle-weary Fairfax parents were caught off guard by what the freshmen class at Chantilly High had to watch because they thought the controversial sex-related material was restricted to the sex education curriculum, known as Family Life Education, from which parents can opt out their children.
But there are no opt out forms offered for “character lessons” in morning Math class.
Brave Katie did what she could, albeit after the fact. She stood before the Fairfax County School Board and told them, “I was raised to have respect for others. I do not need to be told to respect others. My respect for an individual does not mean that I have to approve of their lifestyle choices.”
“This video was about diversity and yet it seems as if my rights and beliefs as a Catholic are not respected,” she said. “I do not believe that the school should be trying to force me to accept LGBT beliefs.”
How naïve. But she’s only a freshman. The school board has loads of time to turn her yet.
For its reversal of the Obama edict, the Trump administration earns high marks in Biology, Social Studies, and Comparative Religion. Unfortunately, the Fairfax County School Board seems to care only about being politically correct.