Northern VA school district orientation teaches students on gender identity 'non-disclosure': report

'All FCPS students have the right to... Non-disclosure of your gender identity and/or sexual orientation'

Updated: August 30, 2022 - 8:38pm

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Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) subjected students to an orientation program in which they viewed a series of slides informing them of their "right" to not disclose their gender identity, among other contentious regulations.

The Washington Examiner obtained the slides the district presented to middle and high school students, which it noted were required material for all students. Attendees of the required orientation must take a test on the materials and affirm they understand the policies, the outlet reported, citing sources within the district.

"All FCPS students have the right to... Non-disclosure of your gender identity and/or sexual orientation" reads one slide. They further have the "right" to "be called by a chosen name and pronoun" and to "[a]ccess the restroom and locker room facilities and other non-stigmatizing accommodations that are consistent with your gender identity."

Moreover, students may "[e]xpress opinions freely through speech, assembly, petition, and other lawful means," the slides assert, though they also inform students of their "responsibility" to "refrain from using words, images or gestures that are obscene, violent, disruptive, or disrespectful."

The Examiner highlighted parental concerns with that apparent contradiction, citing Parents Defending Education President Nicki Neily, who saw the guidelines as restricting the First Amendment rights of the students.

"The First Amendment protects students against compelled speech, and it does not have a carveout for 'disrespectful' language," she said. "These are fairly basic legal concepts, and ones that are in the news on a regular basis, so it's mystifying why these elected officials are shirking their own professional responsibilities.”

Education has become a top issue in Virginia, as a string of left-leaning school districts have implemented an array of social policies with a particular emphasis on Critical Race Theory and transgender ideology. The issue helped propel Republican Glenn Youngkin to the Governor's mansion in 2021.

Loudoun County, in particular, came under fire from parents for its Critical Race Theory policies in 2021 and efforts to shut out parents from the process. In June of 2021, the district closed a school board meeting to public comment in the face of intense parental resistance. At least two attendees were arrested.

After taking office, Youngkin, in February of this year, issued an executive order rescinding "inherently divisive concepts including Critical Race Theory" from the commonwealth's public school curricula.

Other school districts in the commonwealth have attempted to press on with divisive social policies, including Harrisonburg City Public Schools, which saw parents sue the district over its efforts to force teachers to use a student's chosen pronouns and to conceal their gender transitions from their parents.