The Fairfax County Public School Board in Virginia voted Thursday to add “gender identity” as a protected class to its non-discrimination policy despite heated remarks during the meeting from parents who are concerned about the implications of the change.
Fairfax County School Board member Elizabeth Schultz, the only member who voted against the change, said the Board was warned by a local school official that federal funding could be pulled if the change was not adopted. She called it a case of federal overreach that must be opposed.
The memo warning about federal Education Department funding was issued by Steven A. Lockard, the deputy superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools, just prior to the vote.
It states: “The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education is requiring that school divisions 1) revise their non-discrimination policies to include gender identity, and 2) hire a consultant to advise on revisions to regulations and, more generally, how school divisions should handle individual cases of transgender students. If the School Board amends Policy 1450, we will be able to tell them that we have already done the two things that OCR is requiring.”
“If FCPS refuses to amend its policy, OCR has the right to recommend the termination of federal funding to FCPS,” Lockard’s memo emphasized.