ACTION: Call out Arlington Public Schools’ ongoing contempt for parents

The Issue

In February, a working group met in the Arlington Public Schools (APS) in Virginia, USA. The APS working group has drafted a Policy Implementation Procedure (PIP) for issues relating to trans-identifying and gender non-conforming students in its schools. The working group consisted of gender dysphoric students, adult representatives from a local “gender identity” special interest group, and selected school staff members.  The working group members seemed to be in unanimous agreement with mandating a number of controversial programs and policies which appear to come solely from LGBTQ+ resources and advocates who are heavily influenced by corporate interests. Concerned parents formed a parent coalition to address issues related to the proposed PIP, but APS has refused to respond to them in any meaningful way, nor did they invite parent participation in the initial process. Below is our open letter to Dr. Patrick Murphy, the Arlington Public Schools Superintendent.

Letter to Dr. Murphy:

Dear Dr. Murphy,

Many parents in your district are concerned about the Transgender & Gender-Nonconforming Student Policy Implementation Procedure (PIP) being proposed by Arlington School District. Equally concerning is the fact that your office has refused to engage in any dialogue with either individual families expressing concern or with the Arlington Parent Coalition. We can only speculate that you feel these concerns are unfounded and that you erroneously assume the only compassionate way to deal with the fact of trans-identifying and gender non-conforming students in your district is to adopt the proposed PIP.

We offer you this alternative, a comprehensive school policy guide that addresses the needs of all students and will help you implement the compassionate and inclusive program you are aiming to provide:

Transgender Trend Resource Pack for Schools: Supporting Gender Non-Conforming and Trans-Identified Students in School.  The guide states: “We provide research-based evidence and alternative strategies which will help teachers to best support not only the child who identifies as transgender but all children who defy gender and sex-role stereotypes.”

The harm of “gender identity” ideology is that it denies the realities of human biology and reinforces sex stereotypes, that is, the belief that human beings have certain innate traits or characteristics based on sex. This view is profoundly anti-science, sexist, and politically regressive. It harms children by indoctrinating them with the false ideas that they can be born in the wrong body and can change their sex, and thereby leads them to live a life of medicalization and drug dependency. Please know that “gender identity” ideology has been crafted to produce huge profits to Big Pharma and the medical and bio-tech industries. To teach this anti-science ideology to students and to require school faculty and staff to uphold it, both of which are called for in the PIP, sows confusion and harm rather than compassion.

The Transgender Trend Resource Pack, on the other hand, provides a compassionate and inclusive guide which encompasses not only the needs of trans-identified and gender non-conforming students, but all students. You can download it here. It was written for schools in the UK, but the principles and research-based information are universal and readily applicable to US schools. It is an invaluable tool in implementing inclusion and compassion for your students.

Gender Critical Action Center