The Fairfax County school board in Virginia has voted eight to four to raise penalties for students who call a boy a boy and a girl a girl, essentially making it a potential crime to “misgender” or “deadname” students who identify as transgender.
Under the move, offending students could be charged with a crime. The Washington Examiner details that offenders “could face weeks-long suspensions and referrals to local law enforcement.”
The Virginia school board approved changes to its Student Rights and Responsibilities policy for “discriminatory harassment” to include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes, describing such forms of discrimination as “behaviors of safety concern.”
The move to criminalize “misgendering” comes months after the board previously defined “malicious deadnaming or malicious misgendering” as discriminatory harassment, which empowered school administrators to discipline students who violated the policy under Title IX protections against harassment in schools.
Rebel News reported earlier in June that parents in the Virginia county rallied against the school board for proposing to eliminate separate gender classes in the name of equity.
In addition to the move to ban “misgendering” and “deadnaming,” the school board moved to ban elementary and middle school students from using cellphones during the school day.
The move to criminalize misgendering comes as public school boards across the United States face widespread controversy over the attempt to criminalize parents who protest at school board meetings.
As detailed by the Washington Examiner, the Fairfax County school board’s vote preempts a move by the Biden administration to expand Title IX provisions to include the definition of prohibited discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The most charitable interpretation anyone could make of this move is that the school board is trying to cultivate a kinder environment by removing hateful language and attitudes from campuses. This would allow transgender students and their allies to feel safer and happier while those who oppose transgenderism have an opportunity to reflect on their intolerance and make better choices,” commented Augustte Meyrat in the Federalist.
“However, like most leftist gimmicks in education, all of this is based on false premises and will only create more dysfunction in an already dysfunctional school system. Specifically, there are three major problems with this new policy, two of them concern the idea behind it while the third has to do with its implementation,” he added.
Parents opposed to the woke indoctrination of their children came under investigation as potential terrorist threats by Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Department of Justice and the FBI. As detailed by the Daily Mail in 2021, Garland mobilized the resources of the FBI to crack down on a supposed “disturbing trend of violent threats” against teachers following a request from the National School Boards Association, who asked the government to protect their members from angry parents.
FBI whistleblowers claimed in June that the FBI has been keeping tabs on parents critical of school boards’ social justice and gender initiatives, prompting questions from Republican lawmakers who demanded answers from the DOJ.