The Truth About Co-Ed Family Life Education
Below are my comments to the FCPS School Board on July 14th, 2022. The meeting video follow at the end of this blog. See my colleagues comments at a previous meeting that also speak to co-ed FLE at this blog post.
I’m a member of FLECAC, Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee. I’ve heard people, most of whom are not FCPS parents, grossly misrepresent the committee and curriculum. Frankly, they seem to want to eliminate FLE altogether, thus I must address their primary points.
First, FLECAC is composed of FCPS parents and students and guided by health professionals. We volunteered because of experience, interest, and a desire to support students. We discussed subjects thoughtfully with varying viewpoints, then made decisions for the better emotional and physical health of the students. It was both an illuminating and mundane experience. Any controversy about the committee is fabricated.
Second, claims made about FLE are incorrect:
Minors are NOT “sexualized.” In fact, FLE does the opposite by giving students the tools to understand their rights and responsibilities, make good choices, and know the importance of consent whether it is to drugs, alcohol, or other risky behavior.
Currently, gender identity and sexuality are not permitted to be discussed in K-6th, so claims otherwise are incorrect.
The committee unanimously voted for mixed-gender FLE because:
It has been successful around the country and in Virginia.
Students feel underprepared by single-gender FLE and feel it causes suspicion and ignorance.
It supports students who are gender-nonconforming or transgender.
Most students will be in heterosexual relationships, so learning about and discussing reproductive health together will enable them to communicate about health and expectations…together.
Finally, by law FCPS FLE curriculum is abstinence-based. Those who complain about it, ignore that point.
Parents should talk to their students about sex and reproductive health, as well, but most don’t because their own education on the subject may be inadequate or nonexistent.
Please support mixed-gender FLE. Empowering students to make good choices is key to their social, emotional, and physical health.
FLE is a difficult topic that needs to be done with care. The FCPS professionals who teach it take their duty to students and families seriously.
Vanessa's remarks start at 1:57 in the below video.