Last week, Parents of students from Luther Jackson Middle School in Fairfax, VA, protested a proposed policy change that would expand penalties for fourth- through sixth-graders for “misgendering” or “deadnaming” people.
Under the proposed change, addressing a boy as “he” even though he calls himself a girl, or calling “transgender or gender-expansive” people by a name other than their new chosen name, would require disciplinary action.
According to the proposed changes from the Fairfax County School Board, the action of misgendering would create an environment of discrimination and remove a sense of safety for students involved in any school-related activity or event.
The offense of “misgendering” or “deadnaming” by one student of another is categorized as a “level 3” offense. The outlined responses to such an offense include referral to a behavioral support group, referral for community-based services, and additional threat assessment as indicated by the behavior.
The disciplinary actions for such an offense by a student in the school district include removing a student from school activities for 7-14 days, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, and possible referral to law enforcement.
The school board was set to vote on the proposed changes this past week but has tabled the discussion until June 16.
One concerned parent said she was afraid the school board was “waiting for the stillness and quiet of a summer evening when we’re all not paying attention.” However, Stephanie Lundquist-Arora said that she and other parents would not stop paying attention regardless of the timing of such actions and decisions.