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LGBTQIA+ staff, parents/guardians/family of LGBTQIA+ students, LGBTQIA+ family members and allies in the school and community joining together for a public school system in Fairfax County and City in which each person is welcome, safe, included and respected regardless of their identities, including but not limited to identities related to gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression.

 

Events for June through October:

See this sign-up page. All the events are free of charge; we just ask that folks be affirming of queer people. You are welcome to come whether you sign up or not. For the tabling events, extroverts and introverts (and in-between) are all needed. We’ll have detailed instructions and guides, so come whether you have ever done tabling or not. For the Bar-B-Cues /Outdoor events and the coffee house it helps to know approximately how many people are coming. Those bar-b-cues are “bring your own protein” with both a meat and non-meat grill. We’ll provide water, paper goods and utensils, and watermelon for snacks. 

So, there are tabling events for Pride on June 12 (Capital Pride in DC). June 24 (Pride Prom in Springfield), June 26 at Loudoun Pride in Sterling, and August 15-16 for Great Beginnings Summer Institute (new teacher week) for FCPS–there will be around 1700-1900 new educational staff, as there are every year. It’s really a lot of fun!

The school board event on June 16 is the annual proclamation that June is LGBTQIA+ month in Fairfax County Public Schools. Come to cheer and, if you are interested, step in for the photograph with the school board. Don’t hesitate to be in the photo; the more the merrier.

June 11, June 25, July 24, September 11 and October 2 are purely social.

June 11 and June 25 are our co-sponsorship of a parade and roller-skating at the Mosaic District near Gallows Rd in West Falls Church/ Merrifield.

July 24 and October 2 are outdoor events/bar-b-cues in Nottaway Park in Vienna (in the afternoons)

September 11 is a return to in-person coffee houses at Breeze Bakery Cafe in Annandale.

 

 

Media inquiries: fcpspride@gmail.org

 

Fairfax County LGBTQIA+ group FCPS Pride and others demand that Youngkin appointee Elizabeth Schultz withdraw from anti-LGBTQ and racism-tinged fundraiser

 

Virginia’s public school students are a wonderfully diverse group representing a variety of communities. They and their parents, guardians and families are beautifuly diverse in terms of  race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and in other ways. Yet they are all Virginians. Our Governor and his appointees in the Virginia Department of Education must value and serve all of these students. 

 

Elizabeth Schultz, the Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction, appointed by Governor Glenn Younkin is scheduled to speak at a fundraising reception for The Family Foundation of Virginia on April 14, 2022, in Arlington. The Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization which has been publicly outspoken against LGBTQIA+ youth. They have fundraised thousands of dollars in support of anit-gay and anti-trans action in the Commonwealth.

 

Headlining the Family Foundation reception is Isabel Brown, an influencer with Turning Point USA and author of a book entitled Frontlines: Finding My Voice on an American College Campus. Ms. Brown definitely does NOT value people of all races equally, nor does she respect or value transgender and non-binary people. In the video by her that is linked on The Family Foundation’s invitation to this event, she spends several minutes cruelly mocking trans and  nonbinary people for simply existing. Ms. Schultz, an appointee of the Governor, is tasked with setting education policy for all students and parents in Virginia, This includes thousands of transgender students and transgender parents and guardians. Schultz cannot support ALL students and families if she is aligned with a fundraiser with Ms. Brown, who mocks these students and their families.

 

Isabel Brown’s book is hyper-focused on race. She says in the book that this focus on race in her college government career has resulted in her being accused of white supremacy and racism. She believes that her mocking dismissal of the concerns of marginalized students is valid. She comes to Virginia to pitch this book that claims that racism is a myth created to oppose free speech, without having spoken to a single Virginian or considering the words of her Black classmates, other than to devalue them. She wrote “Truthfully, the first time someone calls you a racist, it hurts. A lot. Eventually, however, I realized when someone chose to call me [racist]… this was a clear sign that I was doing something right.” The Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Virginia Department of Education, Elizabeth Schultz, cannot reasonably serve Black students or students of other races if she stands alongside Isabel Brown speaking about  her book on ‘free speech’ which in fact repeats racist tropes.

 

When Schultz speaks at this fundraiser on Tuesday, she will be introduced by Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation. This is one statement Ms. Cobb has made about LGBTQ Virginians: “[Homosexuality] is illegal and also carries risks…teachers should simply say that there is a risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease if one commits a crime against nature.” She said this while tying LGBTQ Virginians to bestiality.

 

The Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization which has been publicly outspoken against LGBTQIA+ youth.  In and of itself, Ms. Schultz’s continued affiliation with this inimical group is concerning. Ms. Schultz holds the second highest position in education in the Commonwealth. The VA DOE should not have ties with organizations which promote animosity.

 

Given these statements and writings that exclude and make fun of entire classes of students, their families, and school staff, we, the executive board of FCPS Pride  and Rainstorms to Rainbows and the  individuals listed below, demand that Elizabeth Schultz withdraw from and not attend the Family Foundation event on April 12, 2022 in Arlington. We demand that she not speak along with Isabel Brown and not be introduced by Victoria Cobb at such an event. 

 

FCPS Pride, Inc.

FCPS Pride envisions a public school system in  Virginia in which all people are welcome, safe and respected

president@fcpspride.org

 

Rainstorms to Rainbows

LGBTQIA+ books returned to FCPS library circulation:

The books which were removed from circulation from our school libraries in September, Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe and Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison  were returned to circulation today, November 30, 2021 after following the usual FCPS review process for challenged materials.

 

There has been an appeal to the superintendent to change that decision and remove the books. The step beyond that is an appeal to the school board.

Here is a link to the Washington Post articles on the return to and earlier removal from circulation: 

Nov. 24, 2021: Two books returned to circulation

Sept. 28. 2021: 2 books removed from circulation in FCPS

 

Schools adopt updated guidelines to protect transgender students at meeting that drew dueling protests

FCPS school board enacts policy about trans and gender-expansive inclusion in school

May be an image of text

 

****Breaking June 22, 2021: Trans, non-binary, gender-non-conforming and other gender-expansive students have new rights and supports in FCPS.

FCPS welcomes LGBTQIA+ students and lists the rights and supports of Trans and Gender-Expansive students on this new webpage.

Support for Gender-Expansive and Transgender Students
  • The right to access restroom and locker room facilities and other non-stigmatizing accommodations that are consistent with the student’s gender identity;
  • The right to non-disclosure of gender identity and/or sexual orientation unless required by law; 
  • The right to be called by chosen names and pronouns;
  • The right to internally generated and shared school lists of students (e.g., honor roll, graduation programs, yearbooks, school newspapers) that identify students by their chosen names and genders.
  • The right to receive support to ensure safe and equitable access to all school and FCPS facilities and activities.
  • Editorial note: the right to “shared schools lists” includes the right to have their chosen name appear in their school email accounts and on online platforms such as Google Meets and Schoology
 
Students or parents/guardians with questions about accessing supports for gender-expansive and transgender students should contact their school counselor, psychologist, social worker, or the FCPS Ombudsman. Parents/guardians can also contact the FCPS Parent Resource Center.

Editorial note: The “ FCPS Ombudsman” is an anonymous problem-solver for anyone in FCPS (students, staff, parents). If you are encountering difficulty with getting any of these rights through, just call the Office of the Ombudsman or submit the form, and they will help fix it. The office is really the go-to place when you encounter barriers.

 Students may initiate any of these rights by contacting their counselor, or, if the counselor, is out for the summer, the Principal or the Ombudsman.

https://www.fcps.edu/resources/student-safety-and-wellness/lgbtqia-resources-and-supports?fbclid=IwAR1Phr6XERxbXkqrr97FJgzgP-ikFDhH7FNF7xQmdAmJ9y0jq4hsple1FhI

 

The members of FCPS Pride, staff and families, welcome and applaud the groundbreaking steps that Fairfax County Public Schools is undertaking to ensure that all students, including trans and gender-expansive students, are welcome, safe, and respected in our schools, from K to 12. We look forward to further action by the school board and administration to ensure that LGBTQIA+ students, staff and families are fully included in our school community.

As one student said, “Does this mean I won’t be treated like a second-class child anymore?” One parent said “It’s been hard negotiating every year for my child’s rights in school. Now I know that my child and I have the full support of the school.”

****Breaking July 27, 2021–Lynchburg Court supports trans students and disallows lawsuits against the Model Policies for the Treatment of Transgender Students in Virginia’s Public Schools

Metroweekly article with FCPS Pride photo and statement

***Breaking, June 30, 2021–U.S. Supreme Court allows the rights of trans student to use restrooms (which align with their gender) in public schools to continue. This is Gavin Grimm’s case decided by the 4th Circuit Court of appeals and applies to public (and private school which are not restricted to students of a single religion) schools in the Virginias, the Carolinas and Maryland (but not DC). There is a chance similar cases will make it to the Supreme Court eventually (see Drew Adams v. St. John School Board, which is awaiting a ruling from the 11th circuit in Atlanta; but this is a great victory, and its anticipation was an enabling factor in FCPS publishing Regulation 2603. 

U.S. Supreme Court permits restroom use in Virginia and neighboring states

 

Donations are welcome and will assist in our outreach efforts. To donate, follow this link: donations.

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