On July 1, 2019, the APS school board made good on the cheeky assertion it gave to one APC parent that, “We can do whatever we want,” and the J-2 Transgender Student PIP was approved for implementation during the 2019-20 school year. Following this disheartening turn of events, APC turned its attention from fighting the PIP to supporting parents in their struggle to protect their children’s minds, hearts, and bodies within APS.
Toward that end APC sent a task force to Syphax last month to analyze the K-12 Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum and begin creating a guide for parents after the Fairfax County Public Schools model, wherein each aspect of the FLE curriculum is labeled with a green, yellow, or red light, indicating the task force’s opinion regarding the level of questionability, controversy, or explicitness of the material. We expected this to be a lengthy, challenging, and tedious process.
What we discovered on the first and only day of the project surprised us.
APS says it has no FLE curriculum.
The APC task force was told that there is not a single lesson plan on any FLE topic in the APS curriculum. The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) provides guidelines on topics for various grade levels, but supposedly the teachers who teach them at APS create their own lesson plans, which may or may not be vetted by anyone higher up the authority chain than that teacher.
APC previously thought that activist teachers were pushing their personal social agendas into our schools via rogue sex-ed curriculum. But if it is true that APS has no curriculum, then the entire APS FLE program is comprised of rogue sex-ed, because there is nothing else. Each teacher teaches whatever he or she wants to teach.
This might explain why an APS ninth grader came home with a gender unicorn, glossary of LGBTQ vocabulary, and associated (graded) quiz in her backpack last spring.
This situation is unacceptable.
Parents cannot give informed consent to FLE instruction if no one but the teacher providing the FLE lesson that day has any idea what’s about to be taught. According to VDOE:
“Parents have the right to review the complete family life curricula, including all supplemental materials used in any family life education program.”
Given that APS says it has no FLE curricula at all, and given the VDOE mandate that parents have access to all FLE materials used in classrooms, all FLE instruction at APS should cease immediately and be resumed only when a full, detailed, and reviewable FLE curriculum is created. This curriculum must meet the VDOE standards and be approved by both the APS administration and the advisory board tasked with FLE oversight, per VDOE regulations.
APC is encouraged to have spoken with members of the administration who share our concerns that APS is out of compliance with VDOE. We applaud efforts that are currently being made to address this problem.
Until it is addressed, however, APC recommends that all parents file an opt-out form for all APS FLE curriculum immediately both in FLE/Health classes and that which is being funneled into the core curriculum.