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Arlington Public Schools adopting controversial transgender policy

While parents in the Diocese of Arlington have been busy juggling the daily demands of work and family, national transgender advocacy groups — with the imprimatur of a progressive county school board — have been laying out plans for those of us with children in Arlington public schools.

In 2015, the category of “gender identity and expression” was added to the anti-discrimination policy by the Arlington County Schools (APS). Now the school system is preparing to approve the expansion and implementation of the policy among students K-12 with the Policy Implementation Procedures (PIP) for Transgender Students in Schools.

Through PIP, Arlington County schools endorse gender-identity ideology, the belief that a child is not born as a boy or girl but is free to choose gender based on how each child “identifies” or feels at a given time. This dangerous ideology is entirely disconnected from science and long-held best practices in psychology and child development. In addition, there is the mounting evidence that our local school board and those directly involved in setting public school policies and curriculum care little about what parents, let alone Arlington taxpayers, think about these issues unless they are members of or advocates for the transgender community.

As Catholics, we believe in the inherent dignity of each and every child, and we agree that no child should be bullied or harassed for any reason. However, what began as a protection for a small group of students has expanded to a progressive ideological indoctrination that will affect 28,000 children in Arlington County schools, including many young Catholic students.

Our community is considered at the forefront of creating societal change. David Aponte, co-chair of the local chapter of GLSEN, formerly the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said in 2018 that Northern Virginia and California have served as laboratories for policies regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues.

We have reached a point where even raising questions about transgender policies’ impact on the educational, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of our children is construed as hate speech. However, parents must understand that these proposed policy implementations expand beyond anti-discrimination protections and, in fact, infringe on other students’ right to privacy as well as compel speech and support for an ideology that stands in opposition to Catholic teaching, science and common sense.

We know from conversations with school administrators that many of the proposed implementation guidelines are taking place in our schools already and they go far beyond Family Life Education curriculum. 

— Bathrooms and locker rooms are open to both biological sexes to be entered at will without adult question or interference.

— Overnight trips can require opposite-sex students to share sleeping quarters and possibly beds.

— Boys who self-identify as girls can compete against girls on girls’ sports teams.

— Educational events in schools are being led by transgender advocates who teach our youngest children that boys can be girls and girls can be boys. (See Ashlawn Elementary School, February 28, 2019). 

— Library books, anti-bullying training, school clubs and school-wide speakers will be used to promote transgender rights and interests. 

— Teachers and students will be compelled to use pronouns that correspond to feelings of transgender students, regardless of biological sex. 

The final approval of the policy implementation will take place June 18 and comments currently are being collected. Parents have a responsibility to speak the truth with charity to ensure our children’s own education, as well as oppose any effort by our schools to mislead children about science and the nature of the human person. The moment to act is now.

Allen and Hazzard are members of Arlington Parent Coalition and Arlington Public School parents. 

Find out more

Go to arlingtonparentcoa.wixsite.com/arlingtonparentcoa.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019