With Multiple Policies and Regulations That Protect Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Students, Why Is 443 Even Necessary?

When policy 443 went in, there were at least three policies and an FCPS regulation that ensured transgender and gender non-conforming students were protected from an unwelcoming environment. So why was 443 even installed? The history behind 443 and the push to expand an ideology explain not only why it’s in place but also why six of the seven BOE members refuse to discuss changes.

Here are the policies that were in place when 443 was installed. They are all still in place today.

  • Policy 309 Discrimination and Harassment States that the FCPS board “is committed to providing students, staff, and community members with a safe and supportive environment that is welcoming and inclusive.” Specifically included is gender identity. Through this policy, FCPS makes it clear students and staff must welcome and accept those students who identify using a gender other than their birth sex to be accepted and protected.

  • Regulation 400-48: Bullying, Harassment, Intimidation Complaint Process For Students: This policy prohibits bullying, harassment, and intimidation for gender identity, gender expressions, and/or due to someone’s internal sense of one’s own gender or expression.

  • Policy 403 Student discipline: Specifically requires the allowance of gender expression and gender identity by students and staff or face corrective actions.

  • Policy 418 Child Abuse and Neglect: Requires FCPS to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect by any parent, guardian, household, or family member department of social services and/or law enforcement.

  • Policy 413: With its preclusions on parental notifications, it seems FCPS is directly in violation of this policy, which states FCPS should maintain a “mutually supportive relationship among home, school, and community” and that “schools, families, students, and the community are expected to work as knowledgeable partners.”

Policy 443 provides a set of unique accommodations for gender non-conforming students that no other protected class receives. These include the restrictions on parental notification, the allowance of sports participation by chosen gender, mixed-sex bathroom and locker room/shower use, and overnight lodging accommodations. These deserve to be questioned, and the Board needs to explain the rationale for them in the same manner they would if these provisions were being installed new.

Join the rally at FCPS headquarters at 5:30 p.m. on September 13th to let the Board know you want changes.