Superintendent of Schools Karen Gaza has sent a letter to parents to address the concerns that parents have about the new teachings in their children’s sex education classes. We reported on some of those new ideas here. [read_more]Dr. Gaza’s letter:
We would like to ensure that all Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) families have the correct information regarding the proposed lesson objectives and curriculum for our Family Life Education (FLE) program. The changes under consideration by the School Board are the result of a series of recommendations from the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee (FLECAC), which is a standing citizen advisory committee that reviews the FLE curriculum on a regular basis and is comprised of school board appointees, community members, students, teachers and administrators. The committee has been working on the curriculum recommendations for more than a year.
Most sections in the FLECAC committee’s report have been a part of the curriculum in past years, with the difference being that many of the instructional objectives now meet the Virginia Dept. of Education’s (VDOE) general Health Standards of Learning, and as-such no longer have an opt-out option. These topics include conflict resolution skills, respecting individual differences such as disabilities, ethnicities and cultures and mental health areas.
The question has been asked: “Will parents still be able to opt their child out of Family Life Education lessons?” The answer is yes. Parents have been able to opt their students out of FLE designated lessons in the past and will continue to have that ability under the FLECAC committee’s recommendations – including the sexual orientation and gender identity lessons. Other topics that parents will be able to opt their child out of include reproductive anatomy, contraception, abstinence, STIs, and many others.
Our parents’ role in determining if their child will receive Family Life Education lessons has not changed. As parents, you continue to have the final say. I hope you find this information helpful and that it dispels many of the misperceptions that are currently being posted regarding our FLE curriculum in the media and elsewhere.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Fairfax County Public Schools