Statement from FCPS School Board Chair Tamara Derenak Kaufax:
“The decision by the School Board to add “gender identity” to our nondiscrimination policy is to provide an environment which promotes equality where every student and employee is treated with dignity and respect. This tells our students and staff that school and the FCPS workplace are places where they can be safe from harassment and discrimination. The School Board has taken this proactive step to protect our students and staff from discrimination.
On March 4, 2015, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said local school boards have the authority under state law to include gender identity in their non-discrimination policies. The U.S. Department of Education has told school districts that transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX and has recently required some school districts including Alexandria, Va., to amend their policies to expressly include gender identity.
No decisions have yet been made regarding accommodations that will be provided, under the revised policy. Our next step will be to hire a consultant to assist in developing appropriate regulations that protect the rights of all students and comply with state and federal law.
As decisions are made about how best to protect our students and staff from discrimination, we will take great care to protect the rights and to provide for the needs of all students. FCPS will continue to provide the highest quality education for all students in safe and caring school communities.”