Fairfax County schools introducing coed sex education classes in 2024-2025 academic year

Fairfax County Public Schools is launching a new pilot program this fall combining genders for sex education for older elementary and middle school kids. 

FCPS confirmed to FOX 5 that they are planning to begin a pilot program for this upcoming school year that will teach family life education — which includes sex education — to boys and girls in the same classroom. 

The district is considering 14 schools for the program that they say will include two age-appropriate lessons in grades 5-8. The remaining lessons will still be taught in single-sex classrooms. 

Not every parent is on board.

"When you get a survey from the community that shows you with evidence with feedback we don't want this why would you say, why would the school district say well we know you don't want it but we're going to include it anyways," said Stephanie Lundquist-Arora.

Lundquist-Arora is referring to a Fairfax County schools survey from last year that says nearly 85% of responders are opposed to co-ed sex ed for 4th-8th graders. She says it doesn't make sense to go against what parents want. 

Chris McCormick, an FCPS parent, disagrees. She questions the survey results because of how it was conducted.

"There was no identifying factor to tie the response surveys to FCPS families so we don't think it's an accurate number for FCPS parents versus people who took the survey," McCormick said.

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Last year, the family life education curriculum advisory committee proposed gender-combined instruction but the school board punted on approving the recommendation. Now, the superintendent is initiating the pilot program as a first step. 

FCPS tells FOX 5 parents will have the option to opt out of gender-combined instruction and as always can opt out of family life education altogether. 

Lundquist-Arora wants a different option.

"You're choosing to experiment with our children in a way that we told you in community feedback is inappropriate. So instead of just going along with this you should give us the ability where we can review the curriculum and then conscientiously choose to opt our children into this if we see fit," she said. 

Lundquist-Arora says parents are already overburdened and this adds just one more task. 

Robert Rigby, a retired teacher, says teachers are overburdened too and that's who would bear the burden of opt-in.

"I know as a teacher what a nightmare that is and how much instructional time that would take chasing down those last few parents. I know that and what an administrative nightmare for teachers," Rigby said. 

Lundquist-Arora also said she wants more transparency from the school board. 

After they punted on voting through the committee's recommendations about gender-combined instruction, the superintendent created the pilot program. She wants better communication and more community input for something she says is so controversial.