Va. school board greenlights teaching 7th graders about ‘gender identity’

Let me see if I have this … er — straight. The state legislature of Virginia is considering illegalizing “conversion therapy” — a practice whereby people confused about their sexual identity are made whole — but no one in the state government is concerned that a school board there has just voted to begin teaching 12-year-olds about “gender identity.”

From CNSNews:

The Fairfax County School Board voted last week to adopt the controversial new “Family Life Education Curriculum.”

The meeting was crowded with angry parents, many of whom spoke out against the sudden changes.

Andrea Lafferty, a Fairfax County parent and president of the Traditional Values Coalition, spoke at the board meeting, asking parents: “Do you want gender identity to be introduced to seventh grade?” Parents in the audience shouted, “No!”

Last month, as reported, the Fairfax County School Board voted to make “gender identity” a protected class, and Lafferty mentioned that as well.

Ah, yes, “protected class” — liberalspeak for a group toward whom any criticism is deemed harassment and politically incorrect.

As to the proposed curriculum, what makes the move so unprecedentedly pernicious is the age of the recipients of this instruction. A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology that attempted to come up with a quantifiable suggestibility scale for children found that subjects continued to be highly impressionable at age 12. In a classroom setting, a child experiencing preadolescent sturm und drang is quite susceptible to internalizing the notion that any social and emotional problems he is having stem from gender confusion.

One of two board members who voted against adopting the curriculum, Elizabeth Schultz, expressed her reservations during an interview with Fox News:

I am very concerned that we’re watching a legacy of an environment that is setting this board at odds with parents. 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.

She also shared concerns that the curriculum could end up prompting lawsuits, which in turn would create unwanted distractions:

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.


Finally, if items from the Family Life and Education Curriculum were to be incorporated into the district’s mandatory health curriculum, as some on the board have proposed, parents would be unable to opt their children out.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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