Catholic Student Sues Fairfax County Schools Over Transgender Policies

Joy Stockbauer | March 8, 2024

(The Lion) — A Catholic high school senior has filed a lawsuit against Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia over the district’s pro-transgender policies, which the student argues violate the constitutional rights of other students.

The lawsuit says FCPS policies discriminate against female and religious students who are uncomfortable having male students share their bathrooms and locker rooms, or a hotel room on an overnight field trip.

The lawsuit also maintains the FCPS policy requiring students to use the preferred pronouns and names of students who identify as transgender violates other students’ right to free speech.

The student, whose identity has not been publicly shared, is represented by America First Legal (AFL), a nonprofit legal firm founded by former high-ranking Trump administration officials.

“Fairfax County Public Schools appears to believe that its policies and regulations can override the Virginia Constitution’s protections for religious beliefs, speech, and from government discrimination on the basis of sex and religious beliefs,” Ian Prior, senior advisor with America First Legal, says in a press release.

“It is well past time for FCPS to stop sacrificing the constitutional rights of its students so that it can implement a state-sanctioned ideology that demands compliance in speech, beliefs, and conduct. Unfortunately, FCPS has repeatedly demonstrated that it will not voluntarily comply with the Virginia Constitution and the Virginia Supreme Court’s rulings, so it will be up to students and parents to enforce their rights through the courts. We are proud to help them do just that.”

One piece of evidence shared by AFL is an FCPS “Gender Expansive and Transgender Students Guidance Document,” which contains information about, and interpretation of, the district’s policies regarding students who identify as transgender.  

One portion of the document, which provides questions and answers, asks what teachers should call a trans-identifying student if he or she has chosen a new name but his or her parents are opposed to the use of that name. FCPS advises teachers to lie to parents, explaining “the legal name will be utilized when staff members engage with the parent/guardian,” while adding, “When working directly with the student, it is appropriate to use their chosen name.” 

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of incidents related to the district’s support for a pro-transgender agenda. FCPS has previously bucked state guidance from Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration after the Virginia Department of Education issued a model policy preserving biological sex as the basis for separation in appropriate school activities and spaces.  

Similarly, in December 2023, a Fairfax County School Board member was sworn into office using, instead of a Bible, a pile of LGBT-themed books that have been notoriously removed from school libraries across the country due to pornographic content.