FCPS School Board Meeting – August 31

Please sign up to speak at the first FCPS School Board Meeting of the year, Thursday, August 31st, at 7 pm.

Our suggested theme –
“FCPS must systematically and intentionally include and welcome traditionally excluded students, staff and families – Black, POC, Disabled, Queer, LGBTQIA, immigrant, and those with intersecting marginalized identities deserve and insist we be given full access to the curriculum and at seat at the table where policies affecting us are shaped and decisions made. Nothing about us without us.”

The link to enter the lottery to speak is open now and will close at 7 pm on Tuesday 8/29.

To be eligible to speak you must be a resident of the city or county; a parent or caregiver; a student; an employee or a contractor. People can choose to speak in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded video, but once the choice has been made it can’t be changed.. You will know if you have a spot within a few hours. If you choose to make a prerecorded video, it must be ready on YouTube by Wednesday morning.

The meeting will be held at 7 pm at Luther Jackson Middle School, at 3020 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA.

Back to School Message

Sharing this message and video from The Trevor Project.
“This year’s back to school season may look just a little different for LGBTQ students, their parents, and teachers. The record-high number of anti-LGBTQ laws, especially ones that limit what students get to learn or how they can be fully themselves in schools, has heavily impacted the mental health of LGBTQ young people and made going back to school more anxiety-inducing and lonely. We thank every teacher, coach, guidance counselor, administrator, school librarian, and to everyone who has never stopped showing up for their LGBTQ students even when the whole world seems to be against you. You are the difference between an LGBTQ young person suffering and an LGBTQ young person actually being able to learn, thrive and enjoy their education.

FCPS Pride and Unstoppable Stories

FCPS Pride is a proud partner and organizer of Unstoppable Stories: A Banned Books Festival, part of the Teaching Truth Campaign and coincides with the launch of Banned Books Week, Oct. 1-7, 2023.

As the festival name declares, Stories are Unstoppable. They celebrate who we are out loud, despite attempts at censorship. They lift up our experiences, connect us across our differences and are how we learn to be better people. 

The festival will offer opportunities to build community, learn about the good work people are doing for equity and inclusion, uplift stories, and have family fun.

Please head to the website for more details and ways to particip

Ready to take action in support of our LBGTQ+ students and staff?

Here are a few things you can do, right now, to support.

  • Anti-LGBTQIA forces are rallying to overwhelm input at VA Board of Education input July 27th in Richmond. Consider signing up to speak in person against his dangerous anti-student/anti-family policies in Richmond, VA.
  • Provide written comment REJECTING hate and Youngkin’s hateful “Don’t Say Trans” policies.
  • Write to Superintendent Reid, your FCPS school board representative, and At-Large school board representatives sharing your personal stories and telling them why it is critical that they clearly and unequivocally reject these policies. You can find your school board and legislative officials here along with their contact information. Contact Dr. Michelle Reid at [email protected]
  • Attend Equality Virginia’s “Trans resilience in the classroom: VDOE Model Policies” on Wednesday, Aug 2 | 6-7:30PM
    For parents & students. Learn how recently released VDOE model policies may impact trans and nonbinary youth in your community and what you can do now to fight back. Sign up here.


The news of Governor Youngkin’s “Model Policies On The Privacy, Dignity, And Respect For All Students and Parents In Virginia’s Public Schools” has many of us feeling angry, scared, and uncertain. Below are a few resources that might be helpful right now. Most importantly, know that you are seen and LOVED.

The Trevor Project provide information & support to LGBTQ young people 24/7, all year round. Call, text, or chat anytime you need support at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help/. Explore the Resource Center at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/resources/.

Transgender students and their families and friends, you can find the LGBTQ resources that Gov. Youngkin recently pulled from the Virginia Department of Health website at https://equalityvirginia.org/resources.

FCPS’s page for LGBTQIA+ Student Resources and Supports The link to Regulation 2603.2 which provides gender-expansive and transgender students with an equitable, safe, and supportive school environment is broken but it can be found here.

PFLAG Resources for VA Trans + Nonbinary Youth

2023 VA DOE Model Policies Released

We object to the VA DOE updated model policies. As unbelievable as it is, they are WORSE than those released in 2022. They purport to respect all students and parents, yet they actually manage to disrespect every family and student while specifically targeting our most vulnerable students. We are too smart and kind to fall for this effort to stoke fear, homophobia, and transphobia while imposing logistical and legal chaos on all Commonwealth public schools.

We have spoken to Dr. Reid, who has promised that Fairfax County Public Schools will do the right thing to protect our students, by ensuring that each and every student, including transgender and gender expansive students, will be welcome, safe, included, and respected in our schools.

Stay tuned for action items as we work together to fight this new ‘policy’. Follow us on social media for most current information.

July 2023 Virginia Department of Education Model Policies

July 19, 2023 Northern Virginia Schools Weigh How To Move Forward After Youngkin Issues Transgender Student Policies

July 18, 2023 VEA Statement on Final Transgender Model Policy

July 18, 2023 Richmond Times-Dispatch “Youngkin implements K-12 transgender policy that emphasizes parents’ rights”

Spring 2023 Social

Spring Indoor Bar-B-Cue on Sunday 3/26/23 was a lovely afternoon. Thanks to the venue, the crew, FCPS Pride Board, and all of our speakers.
Kudos to our keynote Mike Axler, FCPS Director, Prevention and Intervention
This afternoon FCPS Pride honored Heather Kirby and Shawn Rubin, counselors who have supported and served the LGBTQIA2S+ community for years. Even in these dark times we find joy in the fellowship and contributions of our “family” and allies.

Rally – October 6, 2022 FCPS School Board Meeting

Rally/Protest/Celebration  for the acceptance of trans and gender-expansive people in Virginia schools.

Also, it is the School Board Proclamation of October as LGBTQIA+ History Month in Fairfax County Public Schools 

6:00 p.m. at Luther Jackson Middle School, 3020 Gallows Road

We will have a rally and protest at 6, then  go in the meeting around 7 pm  for a photo with the school board (entirely optional for participants)

The very existence of trans people in Virginia and our schools is under attack by Richmond! The Youngkin/Schultz Department of Education has written a falsely named Model Policy that rewrites the Virginia Human Rights Act for schools to exclude LGBTQIA+ people, and effectively makes being safe or welcomed in a public school in Virginia impossible for transgender and non-binary students and staff.

Let’s support and encourage the Fairfax County School Board in fighting this politically based exploitation of our must vulnerable. We’re counting on FCPS to bring suit against the VDOE, and we will back them. Teachers are fearing for their jobs, students are being told by the Youngkin policy that they are pariahs and unwelcome. This attack can not stand!

This rally coincides with the LGBTQIA+ History Month recognition/resolution by the (if you would like) in the photograph for the School Board Resolution.

History Month is recognized in FCPS, and includes National Coming Out Day, and the anniversary of the 1997 March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights.

Families and allies welcome–keep in mind that its a public event, so reporters and such may photograph you and/or your children. It is possible that there will be a counter-rally as sometimes in the past, so parents should be aware as they bring children. Watch this space for more information.

We will have speeches, goodies, flags and songs!
Our siblings in Miami-Dade school district in Florida decided NOT to recognize this month, but FCPS continues the tradition.

It’s a chance to bring Queer history, LGBTQ liberation, and icons of our community (historical and modern) into our curriculum.

Student clubs may make announcements, and FCPS has developed some curriculum for educators to use for History Month.

Please sign up to speak at the meeting in support if you are able. Registration starts on Sept 30 for the October 6 meeting. Registration ends two days before the meeting. Here’s the registration link on this page (all the information is here). https://www.fcps.edu/school-board/community-participation

Current concerns:

A) The school must take action early this fall to approve the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Report as it was published last may (and postponed in an almost unprecedented action). The change requested by parents/guardians in our community was to end separation by genders in the one or two hours of instruction in Human Growth and Development in grades 4-8. No benefit is gained from delay–a major deficit to further delay is the conveyance to the larger community of the strong method that the board and administration may be alarmed of explicit support of LGBTQIA+ students and their parents/guardians.

More information and clinical research on gender-combined FLE

B) Our community needs and asks for public response by leaders when dangerous, animosity-filled speech occurs at school board meetings against Black, Indigenous and other People of Color, and against LGBTQIA+ people occur at school board testimony. These dangerous words can’t be allowed to stand unanswered.

C) Criminalization of students–FCPS needs a response to SB 36, which previous experience shows tends to criminalize behaviors by disabled students, male students, Black and Hispanic students, immigrant students, and LGBTQIA+ students. We can not change the law at this point, but FCPS can ameliorate the damage.

D) Model Policies on Explicit Materials from Virginia Department of Education (result of SB 656)–FCPS’s policies and regulations already cover this “Model Policy;” we do NOT need any new policy.

Leadership (Superintendent and School Board) should take concrete actions that will re-assure parents/guardians that the quality of the education in Fairfax will not decline because of self-censorship by teachers, librarians and school-based administrators. Staff should not be burdened with paperwork or dealing with inimical responses–region and cabinet-level staff should take the lead in supporting staff and families in maintaining our world-class curriculum.

E) Continued protection of our libraries.

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

[email protected]

Rainstorms to Rainbows

Real information on stopping bullying that involves misgendering and deadnaming

What is going on with this “misgendering and deadnaming” clause in the SR&R?

On bullying:

Preventing bullying of more vulnerable, less numerous groups is essential for everyone. If bullying of less powerful and privileged groups is allowed, the culture of bullying spreads, and the next group becomes scapegoated. When bullying becomes more widespread, it becomes more difficult to stop for all vulnerable students.

The media reports about “misgendering and deadnaming,” suspension, expulsion, etc., are all really, really off-base and inaccurate.

  1. It’s last year’s news. These terms were added for this past school year. They have been in effect for all of the 2021-22 school year. One has to wonder why there is such an inaccurate focus in related media.

Last year, it wasn’t mostly LGBTQ-focused either. Those changes just spelled out the meaning of “bullying” to include slurs based on race, disability, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, gender, weight, etc. Whether one agrees with those or not, they are not new. All the categories are included in FCPS non-discrimination policy and Virginia Law.

The protection for LGBTQ people (among all the others) in FCPS is 20 years old, having been added in 2001. Has there been a news story about abuse or misuse of this? No.

  1. But, there are some very specific changes related to all bullying; LGBTQ people are just part of that.
  2. They do NOT add any possible penalties to students of any age. There has been a “Level 1” intervention available to K-6 students for a while. Level 1 includes talking to admin and teachers, or detention. This was available as an extra step before the ordinary Levels 2-4 kicked in. Most items do NOT have a Level 1. They were put in for K-6. It seems that it was decided that severe bullying in grades 4-6 is serious enough that the extra step of just talking was not enough.

Note–NO new penalties have been added. The most serious option for all bullying,, suspension, has always been there as an ultimate intervention after all others have failed. Certainly that can be lobbied against, but really isn’t about transgender students.

  1. So why is the media focus so off-base and inaccurate? Perhaps in part a lack of checking by sending an email to central office staff; or an intent to be inflammatory about transgender children, even if the facts show that this is not really a story with that focus.

Preventing bullying of LGBTQ students, staff and parents/guardians

For the past twenty-one years (since 2001), FCPS has included LGBTQ students, staff, visitors and parents/guardians in its anti-bullying policies.

Last year, in summer 2021, provisions were added to protect LGBTQ students, staff, parents/guardians and visitors from particular types of bullying aimed at them: “deliberate outing” and “malicious misgendering.

What is misgendering? Here is FCPS’s definition: 

The act of labeling others with a gender that does not match their gender identity.

What is deadnaming? FCPS says deadnaming  is “when someone refers to a person who is transgender or gender-expansive by a name other than their own chosen name.”

Note, these specific provisions have been in effect all of the 2021-22 school year. The policy in general has been in effect for twenty-one years. No parent has complained of their child being improperly disciplined. No one has complained of their speech being limited in actual fact. It is all theoretical.

These are anti-bullying policies. They are not about compelled speech or behaviors. No student has to say something they do not want to.

So what is prevented by “malicious misgendering?” It means that students may not harass or bully someone by continually, deliberately, in a harassing way,  call them words that apply to a gender that is not theirs.

For example, a boy named Bobby could not be repeatedly, deliberately, in a bullying way be called Sally. A girl could not repeatedly and maliciously be called a boy, if the purpose is to bully or intimidate that person. Mr. Gomez  can not repeatedly be called Mrs. Gomez  in order to disrespect or bully him.

If someone doesn’t want to call someone by their pronouns, they can not use pronouns. Can they ironically, repeatedly, make a big show of not using someone’s pronouns in class in order to harass or bully that person? No, of course not. Bullying is not OK in school.

What if someone makes a mistake? Will that be punished? No. As always, if someone makes a mistake, they say they are sorry and move on.

Is there case law on this?  There are no court rulings that support a right to bully. There are no court cases about students misgendering. There is an appeal in Vlaming v West Point about whether a teacher has a right to address students by names and pronouns other than the gender their parents have requested for the school to use. In the Vlaming case, the parents had alerted the school to the child’s name and pronouns; Peter Vlaming told the parents that he did not agree with and would not honor their request. After many meetings and conversations, he specifically told his supervisors, then the school board, that he refused to respect this parent request or follow school policy. He was fired, as anyone in any job would be. 
Does the “Tanner” Cross decision in the Supreme Court of Virginia apply? No. That was about public speech in a school board meeting about misgendering, that involved no actual interactions with students in school. It is not about student speech in school directely to another student.

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