Source: Ted Eytan – Flickr
The Fairfax County School Board voted unanimously on Thursday to approve updated language in its sex education curriculum that is more inclusive to LGBTQ people.
The board brought in a special panel that recommended changing the term “biological sex” to “sex assigned at birth,” which the panel said aligns with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association and the American College of Physicians.
The board also changed sex education policies to provide more information to female students regarding contraception, as well as education on pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, for male students.
However, the new changes haven’t been without opposition. Some argued that the new curriculum does not go far enough in explaining the health risks of being transgender or using contraceptives. Fox 5 also reported that opponents said that talking to high school students about PrEP will promote unprotected sex.
The Diocese of Arlington tweeted that it was “sad” to see the board trying to make the sex ed curriculum more inclusive.
“It is sad to see the Fairfax County Public Schools board vote to change the Family Life Education Curriculum,” the Diocese wrote in a tweet.
In a late-night vote that was delayed by the board members due to heated speeches and unruliness from both sides, the measure ultimately passed 10-0 with two board members abstaining.
The board also voted to remove language from the dress code that many spoke about as potentially body-shaming and unfairly targeting female students.
The new language will be made gender neutral, with references to blouses, mid-drifts and cleavage being removed, as well as the term “otherwise sexually provocative.” The current dress code will still ban clothing that exposes “an excessive amount of bare skin.”
Editor’s Note: This article was updated to rectify an editing error in the opening sentence.
Please Support LGBTQ Journalism
As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.