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A teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools is urging students to walk out of school next week in protest of new statewide policies for transgender students from Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA).
The teacher, a history and social studies instructor at West Potomac High School in Alexandria, Virginia, said in an email to students that the new policies, which require schools to obtain a written parental request before treating a student as a new gender identity, were discriminatory to the “LGBTQIA+ community.”
The email, which was obtained by the parent activist group Parents Defending Education, says that the Pride Liberation Project is organizing a student walkout on Sept. 27 to protest the new policies. The teacher urges students to “come show your support.”
The email reads, “In the draft [policies], it states the staff should use the name that appears in the official record and use the pronouns that are appropriate to the sex that appears in the official record. The policy as written may cause students to be outed given the parameters.”
Parents Defending Education Director of Outreach, Erika Sanzi, told the Washington Examiner in a statement that this teacher is engaging in “blatant political activity” and did not understand that teachers are “hired speech.”
She said, “It is not their role to pressure students to attend school walk-outs to protest policy changes by a Governor or state Department of Education. Would this same teacher be comfortable with colleagues who disagree with him using internal school communication systems to invite kids to walk out in support of these recent policy changes?”
Sanzi also said that this could be “a major problem” if parents are not informed that their children’s teacher “was urging their children to walk-out of school to protest the state government.”
— Parents Defending Education (@DefendingEd) September 23, 2022
— Old Dominion Post (@OldDominionPost) September 23, 2022
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