The FCCPTA Executive Board released a statement on Friday, September 23rd, expressing opposition to the newly proposed Virginia Department of Education policy on the treatment of transgender students. This proposal might compel FCPS to change or withdraw its 2020 Regulation 2603 which established supports for transgender and gender-expansive students and their families.
Here are some actions that PTA members can take in the next few weeks, and on an ongoing basis:
1. Support your students, students’ teachers, and school administrators.
2. Talk to friends, family and neighbors in whatever place and time works best. Bus stops, PTA meetings, and coffees can be great.
3. Sign up to speak to our school board on the need to support all of our students and families, including transgender and gender-expansive students. You can register to speak in-person, virtually, or by pre-recorded video. You must do so between September 30 and 7 p.m. on Tuesday October 4 (the meeting itself is at 7 p.m. on October 6).
Click her to register for the speakers’ lottery. At last look it references the previous meeting, but will change to the October meeting by this Friday.
Here is our FCCPTA handout on signing up for the speakers’ lottery. Speakers must be stakeholders (residents of Fairfax County or City, employees of FCPS in any capacity, or parents/guardians of current TJHSST, tuition or other FCPS students). There will likely NOT be walk-in opportunities to sign up on the night of the meeting. For help making a video, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s a great way to comment, but must be submitted within 12 hours of being selected. Three slots are set aside for students. Continued advocacy can take place at future meetings and future action. The meeting following this one is October 20.
Note: you should be notified Tuesday evening 10/4 whether or not you won the lottery. Please check the email you entered when you registered so that you know.
4. Attend the rally in support of transgender or gender-expansive students before the school board meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday October 6. It will be at Luther Jackson Middle School at 3020 Gallows Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042. It’s also in celebration of LGBTQ History Month in FCPS (a long-standing initiative of the National PTA). Wear pride colors, trans-supportive gear, or purple. There should be a photo with the board for community members in support of LGBTQ History Month, which you may join or not as you wish.
Signs used outside may be any size, but inside must be note-book sized or smaller (8 ½ x 11). Flags are not allowed inside, possibly including flags worn as clothing.
Be aware that the rally and meeting are public, which means that it is possible that people may be photographed. There may or may not be a large counter-rally. In bringing children, be aware that often some unpleasant things are said during public comment. People are always welcome to come to any part and leave when they need to or choose.
5. Comment to the Virginia Department of Education about the proposed Guidance Document containing the proposed Model Policy, starting Monday September 26 and continuing until October 26, at this website. You may comment anonymously or by name, but it is important to note in which way you are a Virginia stakeholder. The comment site is open nationwide and it will be useful to VDOE to determine who is and is not a Virginia resident. You can say Virginia resident, Fairfax resident, guardian/parent/family member, employee, retired, etc. These are public, published comments, but as noted you may put your name or remain anonymous.
Please note: the FCCPTA executive board opposes this proposed policy, and disagrees with the description by the VDOE on the Townhall webpage. FCCPTA was not involved in the development of the new proposal. There is no indication from VDOE who was involved in its development.
6. The FCPS superintendent will ultimately determine what steps to take in regard to FCPS’s Regulation 2603 on Transgender and Gender-Expansive students. The school board will determine any changes to FCPS’s Nondiscrimination Policy 1450, and any other action taken. You can contact the superintendent at email@example.com. Contact school board members here.
7. Ask your Local Unit President to attend the FCCPTA General Membership Meeting on Thursday, October 6th at 6:30PM, or send a representative in their place. The statement will be on the agenda for a general membership meeting. Register for the virtual meeting here.