Why Do We Need 443 When Existing Policies Already Protect Transgender Students?

There are policies and regulations in FCPS that provide substantial protection and establish a welcoming environment for transgender and gender non-conforming students in FCPS, and they’ve been in place since before 443.

  • Policy 437: Bullying – Harassment, Intimidation.
    This policy has been in place since 2010. This policy states that students that have an alternative “gender identity” and “gender expression” are protected from  “bullying, harassment, or intimidation,” which is defined in this policy as “intentional conduct, including verbal, physical, or written conduct, or intentional electronic communication that creates a hostile educational environment by substantially interfering with a student’s educational benefits, opportunities, or performance, or with a student’s physical or psychological well-being.”  Procedures to handle a complaint and remedies are included so any violations are escalated and handled.
  • Policy 309: Discrimination and Harassment.

    This policy has been in place since 2005 and was updated with gender expression protections between 2015 and 2022. This policy states:  “The Board of Education of Frederick County (Board) is committed to providing students, staff, and community members with a safe and supportive environment that is welcoming and inclusive.“ Among the many categories and protected classes defined by the policy is “gender identity.”

  • Regulation 400-48:

    “Bullying/Harassment/Intimidation due to Race, National Origin, Disability, Religion, Socioeconomic Status, Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity or Gender Expression.” This regulation has been in place in FCPS since 1986 and was updated last in 2022.

Since FCPS has policies that already provide full protection and a welcoming environment for transgender and gender non-conforming students, how does policy 443 differ from these policies, and why is 443 necessary?

There are four primary additional and extraordinary changes that FCPS has made for transgender and gender non-conforming students with the implementation of 443.

  1. It precludes parents from being told when their children make alternative gender choices so that the school can keep that secret in agreement with the student.
  2. It allows areas previously considered private, like locker rooms, bathrooms, changing areas, and overnight lodging, all to be determined by the student’s self-identified gender identity, not biological sex.
  3. It allows interscholastic sports participation to be determined by a student’s self-identified gender choice and not biological sex.
  4. It requires the schools to accept (affirm) a child’s gender choice without question and contains no acknowledgment that when someone declares they are a gender other than their biological sex it is a symptom of a recognized psychological condition, not merely an act os self-expression.

All 4 of the above are occurring today in FCPS schools. It’s not just happening in other places.

So why the extra provisions?

The student population identifying as transgender is estimated at .02%, yet the entire population of over 45,000 students and these extra provisions and protections impact their families. Why is this one protected class of students provided the extra rights that go far beyond the protections provided to other protected classes like minorities and sexual orientation*?

Simply put, the policy’s extra provisions are meant to introduce a social ideology and force all students to not only adjust traditional privacy norms, a parent’s right to know about what their children are doing and force speech and language changes that could not be accomplished by merely creating a welcoming environment. It is asking all students and families and the community to not only accept and welcome but, as introduced and executed by FCPS, these extra changes are asking parents, students, and the community to allow the school to interfere with the family’s control of their child’s values, faith, beliefs and family culture. 

Remember, the reason this policy exists is because it was installed as a result of FCPS working with the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Network (GLSEN), a national organization that, among other things, puts transgender materials, policies, and learning programs into schools (as was documented at the time of its installation in 2017). It is necessary to have these provisions that go far beyond creating a welcoming environment in order to justify other actions like the introduction of gender expression in K-3 lessons on tolerance. It’s necessary to have these provisions to portray transgender acceptance as a civil rights issue and not as a rare medical condition.

Those who support 443 and the four provisions above would have you believe that proposing the four policies above be removed is an act of hate and intolerance. We believe the existing policies provided the necessary protection and that keeping these extra provisions in place is an act that comes between families and their children, devastates women’s sports, and harms children by refusing to acknowledge that schools are not equipped to handle a recognized psychological condition.

To read more on this, see the following articles published this week on our website.

  • Parents need a wake-up call. Parents can get involved in pushing back on the loss of parents’ rights re gender, and we explain how and why (Coming to our website on August 8)
  • Is the aggressive push of SEL programs related to gender in schools like FCPS contributing to the epidemic of mental illness among America’s young? Read here.
  • Are academics taking a second seat to SEL and DEI? Academic proficiency continues to drop, and we reviewed the recovery plan with FCPS. It left us with some concerns parents should be made aware. (Coming to our website August 8)

*The Anti-racism policy supplements the existing anti-bullying and discrimination policies mentioned above, but the A/R policy addresses the documented disparate outcomes by race. It was built as a result of a long analysis and looks to put programs in place to directly address what the data shows. Policy 443 went in with no unique documented instances of intolerance, bullying, and harassment and no data on disparate outcomes as a result of being transgender.