Fairfax County Public Schools Consider Making Gender Identity Part of the Curriculum, And We Need This Everywhere
In what is definitely good news, one of the largest school districts in the country, Fairfax County Public Schools, is considering adding gender identity information to the curriculum. The school also recently added gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy. And while there are plenty of people who are apparently upset about this, it seems like progress is still marching on.
Fairfax County Public Schools, which has 180,000 students and is the nation's tenth largest school district, recently released a report recommending that the district add information about gender identity and being transgender to their Family Life curriculum for grades seven through 12. The school board has not yet voted to approve the curriculum, but if their recent action around trans students is any indication, they will hopefully approve the changes. Just last week, the school board decided to include gender identity in the official nondiscrimination policy by a vote of 10 to one, with one abstention. So that's a good sign.
Predictably, there are people who are not at all pleased about this. According to Fox News, many parents have been expressing their displeasure, describing the potential curriculum as an "assault" and complaining that information about trans people is not rooted in science — despite the fact that the field of psychology and the medical community in general have recognized the existence of trans identity for years. Then again, the article also uses the word "transgenderism" as though that's an actual term, so...
Regardless of what the haters might say about this, though, educating kids about gender identity is absolutely a good idea, if for no other reason than it mean the next generation will not be spouting this same ignorant rhetoric about trans people and gender in general. Even though understanding the basic facts doesn't eliminate all bigotry, it does at least make an actual, productive conversation possible.
Hopefully the Fairfax County gender identity inclusive curriculum passes, and hopefully it will mean the next generation of Americans is more informed about gender and more understanding of difference than the current one. Because progress is marching on. And we owe it to kids to make sure they know what they need to regarding the world they live in.