Dear Editor,  

On June 14, the Fairfax County School Board will be voting on disturbing changes to its students’ Family Life Education (FLE) curriculum. These changes, suggested by the FLE Curriculum Advisory Committee, include using the phrase “sex assigned at birth” instead of “biological sex” in a manner that confuses children regarding the way biology impacts whether one is male or female. The curriculum would teach students about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a drug regimen designed for use by those who are engaged in risky sexual behaviors.

It would remove “clergy” from a list of trusted adults with whom children could talk about their concerns regarding sex or sexuality.

It would also end the practice of teaching that abstinence is the 100 percent effective method of preventing sexually transmitted infections or diseases.

It is truly regrettable that a public school curriculum would deny scientific truth, the reality of how we are made. As a society, we must never forget the dignity of the human person, the true meaning of human sexuality, how God created us and taught us to live. It is also disturbing to people of the Catholic faith and to other religious traditions as well, to think that a public school board would exclude dedicated and beloved clergy from among those considered adults students can trust to talk to about issues of sex and sexuality. Along with many others, I hope and pray that the misguided and harmful proposals to the Fairfax County Public Schools FLE Curriculum are rejected.

Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington

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