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NVAE lauds approval of FLE Curriculum

NVAE lauds approval of Family Life Education recommendations to Fairfax County School Board.

MCLEAN, Virginia, June 26, 2015 -- Northern Virginia Advocates for Equality (NVAE) strongly supports the approval of the recommendations of the Fairfax County School Board’s Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee, viewable at http://www.fcps.edu/is/hpe/documents/FLECommunityReview20142015.pdf. Further information about the decision can be found at http://www.fcps.edu/is/hpe/fle.shtml. In a 10-2 decision, Fairfax County Public Schools will now talk about Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in their Family Life Education program.

We believe that the approval of these recommendations is a step in the right direction for creating respectful and accepting educational environments for all students in Fairfax County, including those who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. The recommendations take the first steps in presenting sexual orientation and gender identity as aspects of healthy development. Science supports LGBT-inclusive curriculum, as evidenced in the American Psychological Association’s Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality (http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.pdf) andAnswers to Your Questions About Transgender People, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression ( http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.pdf). We are happy to see that the Board understands this and upheld it last night. More importantly, research suggests that LGBT-inclusive curriculum dramatically improves the school climate for all students. This approval is a major step in making schools safer and more affirming for all students. See GLSEN’s Teaching Respect research report at http://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/Teaching%20Respect.pdf.

Five members of the NVAE testified in support of the recommendation at that meeting. Their testimonies were well received and represented the community of teachers, students, and parents in Fairfax County. We believe that the Fairfax County School Board ultimately sided with a majority of the community and not the highly vocal minority present at the meeting. This vote has moved Fairfax County forward, has moved Virginia forward, and will help move the nation forward.

About Northern Virginia Advocates for Equality

The Northern Virginia Advocates for Equality was formed in April 2015, and is a group of education, disability, youth, religious, LGBTQ, advocacy, and social service organizations, as well as individuals who supported successful passage of S. 1450 to revise the FCPS School Board policies to include gender identity in its nondiscrimination policy. We believe that all residents of Northern Virginia deserve access to opportunities that are equitable, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. We seek to create an inclusive and just community where all residents have visibility and opportunities to thrive as valued participants in our schools, institutions and communities. Our coalition brings a unique and progressive voice to Northern Virginia and strong partnerships with our coalition members make our community a more respectful place for all. A full list of coalition members is available upon request.

Contacts:

David Aponte
Co-Chair
GLSEN Northern Virginia
571-208-2424
daponte@glsennova.org
http://glsen.org/nova

Phil Hicks
Past President, Past Board Member and Virginia Advocacy Chair
Metro DC Chapter of PFLAG
703-981-4061
pchicks1@cox.net
http://pflagdc.org

Robert Rigby, Jr.
202-295-7939
robertrigbyjr@yahoo.com

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