Schultz also wondered, “What’s next? Are we to say that every school board, whether they’re appointed or elected across the United States of America, now has lost control over running their local school jurisdictions?,We are just, you know, puppets of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice?”
The Fairfax County Public School Board in Virginia voted Thursday to add “gender identity” as a protected class to its non-discrimination policy despite heated remarks during the meeting from parents who are concerned about the implications of the change.
Fairfax County School Board member Elizabeth Schultz, the only member who voted against the change, said the Board was warned by a local school official that federal funding could be pulled if the change was not adopted. She called it a case of federal overreach that must be opposed.
The memo warning about federal Education Department funding was issued by Steven A. Lockard, the deputy superintendent of the Fairfax County Public Schools, just prior to the vote.
It states: “The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education is requiring that school divisions 1) revise their non-discrimination policies to include gender identity, and 2) hire a consultant to advise on revisions to regulations and, more generally, how school divisions should handle individual cases of transgender students. If the School Board amends Policy 1450, we will be able to tell them that we have already done the two things that OCR is requiring.”
“If FCPS refuses to amend its policy, OCR has the right to recommend the termination of federal funding to FCPS,” Lockard’s memo emphasized.
Schultz discussed her concerns regarding the federal government’s role in the decision in a conference call:
“We have a significant battle on the forefront of federal overreach, all the way down to a local school board level that comes into every single community, in every town, in every district, in every jurisdiction across the United States if we are to allow the federal government to dictate this language. And if they can dictate this, what can’t they dictate?” she asked.