Fairfax parents decry coed sex ed classes

Should boys and girls be separated while learning about sex? 

That’s the big question being asked to Fairfax County Public Schools families.

Some parents are sounding off about a plan for coed sex education classes despite an overwhelming number of families requesting the genders split up for instruction.

The issue involves students in fourth through eighth grade, ages 9-13. In a recent survey put out by the school, more than 80% of families voted against coed sex education classes. Around 3% had mixed feelings and around 11% of responders supported it.

Still, the school district’s Family Life Education Committee is planning to make the recommendation for coed classes.

Some parents believe this is an attempt to cover up the results of their own survey, showing the community is overwhelmingly opposed to combining boys and girls for sex ed.

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"Parents are upset because we've been saying for the past few years that we'd like to have a voice in our children's education, and parents have a particular interest in having a voice on issues impacting their elementary-age children," said Christy Hudson, a FCPS parent. "This is not just sex ed in high school, but 9 and 10-year-olds."

"The Family Life Education community is made up of community members that ought to be aligning their recommendations with what the community wants," Hudson continued. "There’s a big disconnect here between what parents, students, teachers, and staff want and what the committee, who was appointed to represent them, is pushing forward."

The school board has a work session scheduled for Tuesday and could make a decision on the issue on March 30.

One of the main themes that reportedly emerged from the data is students feeling uncomfortable asking questions in front of the opposite gender and developmental differences between boys and girls.