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The school board of Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Fairfax, Virginia, is reviewing updated rules that could potentially expose students to suspension or expulsion for “maliciously misgendering” their peers.
The Fairfax County Public Schools Students Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) handbook, which will be voted on May 26, includes in its updated version rules that make “malicious deadnaming” and “malicious misgendering” of classmates a Level 4 offense, which is “allows for a suspension up to 5 days if frequency and intensity are present.”
“Using slurs based upon the actual or perceived gender identity” is forbidden under the rules of the document, “which includes, but is not limited to, malicious deadnaming or malicious misgendering.”
The document defines “deadnaming” as “when someone, intentionally or not, refers to a person who is transgender or gender-expansive by a name other than their own chosen name.”
The handbook explains that “Level 4 responses” include individualized intervention that often requires disciplinary action. The principal is able to refer such violations to the superintendent, which the document says “may result in a number of different responses based on circumstances and rarely results in an expulsion.”
Level 5 offenses include things such as homicide, sexual assault and illegal possession of drugs or weapons.
FCPS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“(The investigating principal) said he’s being allegedly charged with sexual harassment for not using proper pronouns,” said Rosemary Rabidoux, a parent of one of the accused. “I thought it wasn’t real. I thought this has got to be a gag, a joke – one has nothing to do with the other.”
Now her son and two other boys are being charged by school officials with Title IV violations, which prohibits gender-based harassment.
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