Alexandria Dan Storck is a hero for students and staff in Fairfax County Public Schools. He led and participated in three votes (Nov. 6, May 7 and June 25) which made our schools safer and more welcoming for gay and transgender students. The majority of the School Board, including Mr. Storck, Chairperson Tamara Derenak Kaufax, and at-large member Ilyrong Moon, Ryan McElveen and Ted Velkoff, voted on these three dates to add nondiscrimination policies and straightforward, science-based definitions that protect and include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and staff. Members of the West Potomac High School community also took a lead in this matter: students, graduates, and teachers at WestPo testified and wrote the board, and talked to Mr. Storck about protecting and including LGBT students. As sponsor of West Potomac’s Gay-Straight Alliance over the past year, I have seen and heard these students’ pain and sorrow at the exclusion they have experienced, and at times outright discrimination and harassment. The inclusion of LGBT students in the nondiscrimination policy and Family Life Education go a long way to lessening these negative effects. It is worth noting that parents who do not feel comfortable with this retain the right to opt their children out of all parts of the Family Life Education Curriculum. Indeed, the board voted to make it easier to do so. Mr. Storck and Ms. Derenek Kaufax, indeed all the board members who voted for these measures, deserve our support and our thanks, for supporting those students who are most vulnerable.
Robert Rigby, Jr.
West Potomac High School