Fairfax County School Board in Virginia yesterday voted to remove ‘clergy’ from a list of trusted adults with whom children could talk about their concerns regarding sex or sexuality.
This despite the fact that – ahead of the vote – the Most Reverend Michael F Burbidge, above, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, warned in a letter to Fairfax County Times that such a vote would be:
Disturbing to people of the Catholic faith and to other religious traditions as well. Along with many others, I hope and pray that the misguided and harmful proposals to the Fairfax County Public Schools FLE Curriculum are rejected.
Well, prayers fell on deaf ears, for not only did the board kick clergy into the long grass, it voted 10 to 1 on Thursday to change the dress code to gender-neutral language and adopt a more inclusive sex education curriculum that would create space for transgender students.
Father Thomas P Ferguson of the Arlington diocese said:
A lot of the people who are opposed to the change are making the point that what we want the kids to learn is biology, not ideology. To narrow rather than expand for young people who they might turn to as trusted adults is unfortunate.
But English teacher Mary Mathewson said she supports the change in the curriculum because it makes the distinction clearer between the sex one is assigned and their gender identity.She said she liked the proposed new language:
I think that ‘parent or trusted adult’ gives kids a broad range of choices for who to go to when they’re questioning things.
In his letter, Burbidge wrote:
On June 14, the Fairfax County School Board will be voting on disturbing changes to its students’ Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum. These changes, suggested by the FLE Curriculum Advisory Committee, include using the phrase ‘sex assigned at birth’ instead of ‘biological sex’ in a manner that confuses children regarding the way biology impacts whether one is male or female.
The curriculum would teach students about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug regimen designed for use by those who are engaged in risky sexual behaviors.
It would also end the practice of teaching that abstinence is the 100 percent effective method of preventing sexually transmitted infections or diseases.
It is truly regrettable that a public school curriculum would deny scientific truth, the reality of how we are made. As a society, we must never forget the dignity of the human person, the true meaning of human sexuality, how God created us and taught us to live.