Respect all student rights in the FCPS gender-identity non-discrimination regulation
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We, the parents, family and friends of Fairfax County Public School (FCPS) students, unite demanding all of our student's rights be fairly respected in the forthcoming regulation detailing how to implement the gender identity addition to the nondiscrimination policy (Policy 1450).
We are opposed to the way that the regulation is moving forward and has been done in a way that does not provide transparency and community involvement to address our needs and concerns. As such, it is currently severely flawed and is in violation of the needs and rights of very large portions of our student population.
While we agree that no child should be subject to harassment, bullying or denied educational opportunities for any reason, including gender identity, we strongly disagree with the implications that the new policy change will create in the transgender non-discrimination regulation being created.
The Department of Education and Attorney General Loretta Lynch and many transgender rights groups insist that transgender students be treated in every respect as the gender they identify with, and not by their biological sex. We insist that there are areas in the education system where anatomical sex must be the sole relevant discriminatory trait considered. In these areas, gender identity is not interchangeable with sex.
Athletics are an obvious area where biological sex is not interchangeable with gender identity. Boys have very real biological differences which give them a competitive advantage over girls. It is unfair to allow a transgender girl to compete on girls’ athletic teams. Biological female students will be denied from competition because transgender girls who are better athletically will displace them. This will also have an impact on female athletes ability to receive athletic scholarships. This would be a clear violation of the intent of Title IX.
Locker room and bathroom access is another area which requires strict sex segregation. Our diverse student population has cultural modesty requirements (due to national origin) and religious mandates which forbid mixed anatomical sexes together in these areas. The current school facilities do not provide adequate privacy to the students. If a transgender student is placed in these areas with opposite sex students, it would force students by religion or national origin to be limited to using only a private area or single-use facility. This would subject these students to the same discrimination that the school board forbids to be done to gender non-conforming or transgender students.
Being one of the largest and most diverse student populations in the nation, FCPS should lead the nation in both protecting gender non-conforming and transgender students, while also fully protecting the rights of our diverse ethnic and religious groups. The school board cannot move forward with a regulation that discriminates against our best asset, our diversity. Until a regulation is acceptable to all these groups, it would be irresponsible to move forward with a severely flawed implementation of the non-discrimination policy.
For all the above reasons, we demand that any regulation created for the gender identity non-discrimination policy must provide for the strict sex segregation requirements in areas where our diverse religious and ethnic student population mandates modesty. We demand that any policy put forward must provide for strict sex segregation in athletics. We demand transparency and parental input going forward to ensure these student rights are protected.
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