Friday, May 08, 2015

Fairfax County Public Schools announces non-discrimination policy for gender identity

The school board for Fairfax County Public Schools voted 10-1 Thursday night, at a stormy meeting, to include gender identity in its list of protected categories for students and employees, which presumably will include teachers and subs.
Fairfax County is a large “urban county” (population over 800000) in Virginia immediately southwest of Washington DC, separated from DC by Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.  Fairfax City, in the middle of the county, is separate.  In Virginia, incorporated cities are always separate from the counties that surround them, but Virginia may be the only state that has a format called “urban county” (for Arlington and Fairfax) which seems to offer some financial benefits.
The FCPS board said it will work on logistics for how to handle potential locker room and lavatory issues.
The Washington Blade has a story by Lou Chibbaro, Jr. here
I worked as a substitute teacher in Fairfax County from 2004 to 2007.  I also worked in Arlington County.  I did encounter some issues, and they are widely discussed on other blogs (especially the “BillBoushka” blog July 25 and July 27, 2007 entries). As far as I know, there was no explicit protection for sexual orientation when I was working.  There were some unsettling problems about personal “off duty” Internet speech.
I did vet the idea of taking university courses and getting a regular teacher’s license (for math) in the middle 2000’s anyway.  I talked to GWU about its MeD program once, and a man who had taught high school English in FCPS told me that he was gay and that he was asked not to “tell” when he started teaching in 1989.  Times have changed. And he DADT concept applied outside the military.   

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