A Virginia school board unveiled public comments indicating that huge swathes of people are opposed to proposed changes to the district’s sex ed curriculum on which the school board will vote Thursday night.
Around 1,000 people opposed a provision that would allow the district to teach students about an HIV drug with “life-threatening side effects,” and around the same number objected to changing mentions of “biological sex” in the coursework to “sex assigned at birth.” The Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC) advised the changes to the sex ed curriculum.
When asked whether they supported the district changing instances of “biological sex” to “sex assigned at birth,” 1,102 public commenters opposed the change and 231 respondents supported it.
“The term ‘sex assigned at birth’ is ideological and does not reflect biological reality,” reads one comment. The county extracted the identities of those who provided feedback for confidentiality.
“The use of [sex assigned at birth] violates parental trust that schools teach children scientific fact, not political ideology or popular opinion. FLE terminology must be consistent with FCPS science curriculum that chromosomes, anatomy, and hormones ‘determine an individual’s sex,’ beginning in utero,” stated another respondent.
Commenters voted 904 against 216 for curriculum teaching the HIV prevention drug Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which “can cause serious, life-threatening side effect” including “a buildup of lactic acid in the blood (according to the National Institutes of Health. (RELATED: Students Could Learn About HIV Drug With ‘Life-Threatening Side Effects’ Under New Policy)) and problems,”
“There was no consideration of unintended consequences such as undermining condom use in populations at high risk for HIV,” stated one respondent regarding the PrEP provision.
Another participant thought that teaching the drug would give children “a false sense of security and may encourage risky behavior.”
FLECAC also proposed that Fairfax County Public Schools’ change its description of abstinence as “the only 100% effective method for preventing pregnancy and disease” to “the only 100 percent effective method for preventing pregnancy and the most effective method for preventing sexually transmitted infection.”
Of respondents, 923 opposed this recommendation; 39 people supported it.
Similarly, 915 respondents opposed FLECAC’s proposed removal of “member of the clergy” and “counselor” from its list of individuals with whom students should speak should they have questions regarding their gender or sexual orientation. Under the provisional policy, only “parent” and “trusted adult” would still be listed.
A petition to delay the Thursday school board vote on the proposal has garnered over 270 signatures by press.
“Thank you. I’ve seen the petition,” Fairfax school board member Patricia Hynes wrote back to the Fairfax County resident and parent who started the petition and preferred to remain anonymous. “I have received and considered email testimony for several weeks. I’ve read the online public comment and find that it reflects the advocacy we have been hearing and considering from all sides for well over a month. Constituents have prepared for tonight’s meeting and have a valid interest in expecting us to complete our business on this agenda item tonight. I don’t support a delay.”
The school board will consider an amendment Thursday evening to postpone the vote on the proposed sex ed changes, Fairfax County Public Schools spokesman John Torre told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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