Fairfax’ inclusive Nondiscrimination policy

On November 6, 2014,  the FCPS School Board added Sexual Orientation to policy 1450, with little discussion, in part in response to the legalization of gay marriage in Virginia on October 6, and the extension of spousal benefits to same-gender spouses, in an 11-1 vote.

Voting in favor were: Ilyrong Moon (at-large), Ryan McElveen (at-large), Ted Velkoff (at-large), Megan McLaughlin (Braddock), Jane Strauss (Dranesville), Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill), Tamara Derenak Kaufax (Lee), Sandy Evans (Mason), Dan Storck (Mt. Vernon), Patty Reed (Providence), and Kathy Smith (Sully). Voting against was Elizabeth Schultz (Springfield).

On May 7, 2015 (among more public discussion and commotion than I have ever seen in 15 years of watching the school board), the board voted to add Gender Identity to Policy 1450 (nondiscrimination), after an advisory opinion from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring that the board had the authority to do so.

The vote was 10-1-1. Voting in favor were Ilyrong Moon (at-large), Ryan McElveen (at-large), Ted Velkoff (at-large), Megan McLaughlin (Braddock), Jane Strauss (Dranesville), Pat Hynes (Hunter Mill), Tamara Derenak Kaufax (Lee), Sandy Evans (Mason), Dan Storck (Mt. Vernon), and Kathy Smith (Sully). Patty Reed (Providence) abstained. Voting against was Elizabeth Schultz (Springfield).

All of the school board members are up for re-election on November 3. Dan Storck (Mt. Vernon) and Kathy Smith (Sully) are running for their respective Board of Supervisor seats, so their school board positions are open. In this low-turnout year, the most hotly contested seats are the at-large positions, and the open Mt. Vernon and Sully seats. Elections matter.

Below are links to local news coverage of the issue:

WaPo story on Sexual Orientation inclusion–Nov. 9

Mark Herring’s advisory opinion enabling policy change–March 4

Initial WaPo story on Gender Identity policy–March 11

For transgender teens and teachers, acceptance could be two words away” (WaPo-May 7)

“Fairfax School Board Approves Transgender Protections”–WaPo-May 8

WaPo editorial May 8

Letters to the Editor May 10

 

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