For the past 25 years Fairfax County Public Schools has had a Family Life Education program in its schools that prepares young children for being members of families, cautions older children about some of the hazards of adulthood, and contains lessons that encourage all children to be safer in this world. The program at the same time respects the values of families of different perspectives and cultural backgrounds. Most important of all, parents can examine and opt their children out of any part or all of FLE at any grade level — the children will receive a well-constructed alternative health lesson.
This year’s proposal will include some tweaks to language that make the objectives more inclusive of transgender students. FCPS has adopted language in line with the major medical professional groups: the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychiatric Association. Alas, this has attracted a well-funded astro-turf campaign from some national lobbying organizations opposed to such inclusion. Fairfax residents should rest assured that the FLE objectives are closely examined by a committee representative of staff and the community; almost all residents of the county will find nothing untoward in the objectives. Indeed, our Family Life Education program is something of which we can be proud. The campaign against it is really much ado about nothing.
Robert Rigby, Jr.
President, FCPS Pride