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In Wake of Monday’s Supreme Court of Virginia Ruling, Local LGBTQIA+ Organizations Call on Fairfax Officials to Stand Up for Trans Students

"One student lamented about the SCOVA ruling: 'I feel dehumanized. Is it really that hard to respect us?'"

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From FCPS Pride, Pride Liberation Project and GLSEN Northern Virginia:

Local LGBTQIA+ Organizations Call on Fairfax Officials to Stand Up for Trans Students

FAIRFAX, Virginia – August 31, 2021 – The members of FCPS Pride, Pride Liberation Project and GLSEN Northern Virginia call upon elected officials in Fairfax County and Fairfax County Public Schools administration to stand up for transgender and gender-expansive students in the wake of Monday’s ruling from the Supreme Court of Virginia (SCOVA).

Yesterday, the Virginia Supreme Court declared that teachers have the right to publicly declare their intent to deadname and misgender their students (that is, to maliciously call transgender students by names and refer to them by pronouns that the students no longer use); it appears that teachers may declare their intent to harm children in this way.

Fairfax elected and appointed officials must assure that they will stand up for LGBTQIA+ students in this crisis. Robert Rigby, Jr., a co-President of FCPS Pride, said “Support during times of sunshine is great, but we need you by our side during the storm.” David Aponte, Chair of GLSEN NoVA, added, “In 2019, according to the GLSEN National School Climate Survey, nearly 3 out of 4 Virginia students reported hearing negative remarks about trans people and about 1 in 4 reported that they were prevented from using their chosen name or pronouns. A ruling like this rolls back the clock at a time when trans students need our support. If the Supreme Court of Virginia will not support, then their local officials must.”

Several members of the community expressed their concern and sense of urgency. From an FCPS parent: “All students deserve to feel safe and respected at school. Allowing teachers to publicly say they will not follow policies designed to protect transgender students is one small step away from allowing them to cause those students harm.” A teacher said, “do we actually have to wait for them to harm a child before they are removed from their position?” One student lamented about the SCOVA ruling: “I feel dehumanized. Is it really that hard to respect us?”. Another FCPS student remarked that they were “…extremely stressed and anxious that their basic dignity is under attack.”

Additional Information:

Supreme Court of Virginia document – https://adfmedialegalfiles.blob.core.windows.net/files/CrossOrderVSC.pdf

Virginia State Snapshot of GLSEN National School Climate Survey – https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/Virginia-Snapshot-2019.pdf

About FCPS Pride

Fairfax County Public Schools Pride brings together LGBTQIA+ employees and alles, families of LGBTQIA+ students, and LGBTQIA+ families and community members in Fairfax County Public Schools, Virginia. We envision a public school system in Fairfax in which each person is welcome, safe and respected regardless of their gender identity/expression and sexual orientation.

About Pride Liberation Project

Pride Liberation Project is a student-initiated, student-led group of Queer students, mostly BIPOC, advocating for safe, inclusive, and equitable schools for every LGBTIA+ student in Fairfax County Public Schools.

About GLSEN Northern Virginia

GLSEN Northern Virginia is a chapter of GLSEN, a national organization fighting for every student’s right to a safe, supportive education.

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