VoterVoice Post

Bishop Burbidge this week urged the faithful to speak out about the “almost unbelievable” new family life curriculum

May 24, 2018 by Jeff Caruso

Bishop urges parents, residents to send comments against alarming proposal to public school lessons

Bishop Burbidge this week urged the faithful to speak out about the “almost unbelievable” new family life curriculum the Fairfax County School Board is considering imposing on children who attend county public schools. In a recent podcast, Bishop Burbidge exhorted the faithful to speak out before the June 8 deadline. A suggested message and the email address for comments can be found below.
Bishop Burbidge spoke about the alarming proposed changes, saying they are what happen “once we forget the dignity of human persons, the true meaning of sexuality, God’s plan and the way He has created us and taught us to live.” To parents learning about these changes, he said: “Parents, just a reminder you’re the first teachers of our sons and daughters in the way of faith and morals, and it’s a great responsibility and I know your challenges.”
He also accentuated the critical importance of including in the list of trusted adults “our clergy, who give their lives in service to God’s people, to God’s young people, to help them to do what is good and right.”
Listen to Bishop Burbidge’s full comments here.
The School Board is trying to expose children to a curriculum that would:
  • Use the phrase “sex assigned at birth” instead of “biological sex” to teach children that biology has no impact on being male or female,
  • No longer teach that abstinence is the only 100% effective method of preventing sexually transmitted infections or diseases,
  • Remove “clergy” from a list of trusted adults with whom children should talk about their concerns regarding sex and sexuality,
  • Teach students about pre-exposure prophylaxis. Also called PrEP, this drug is designed for use by those who are engaged in sexual behaviors which put them at high risk of contracting HIV.
The Fairfax County School Board must hear from you before June 8. Send your comments opposing these changes here:
These recommendations are all available to review online. A PowerPoint presentation is also available.
Please take the crucial time to submit your comments on these recommendations to Find a suggested sample message below or use your own words.
Thank you for taking the time to address this important issue.
Please email your comments to today!
----Message to
Dear School Board,

I’m writing to oppose the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee's recommended changes to the FLE curriculum.
Many of the proposed changes in the Family Life Education are disturbing, ideologically driven and do not reflect the truth about biology, sexuality or family life. I urge you to reject these recommendations for the following reasons:
  • The term "sex assigned at birth" is ideological and does not reflect biological reality. Children should be taught what "sex" and "gender" are in Family Life Classes consistent with what they are taught in biology classes. Sex and gender are not "assigned at birth," but are determined biologically.
  • Teaching about pre-exposure prophylactics is not something that should be included in high school. Teaching about these drugs may not reduce the prevalence of HIV, but could have the opposite impact: it could expose students to a false sense of safety. Please don't include this instruction in the FLE curriculum.
  • Children should continue to be taught that they can go to clergy with questions they have about sex and sexuality. Clergy provide guidance and support to children facing all manner of concerns, and should be included in the FLE curriculum as a resource.
  • If students are taught about possible hormonal or medical interventions as part of a "gender transition," they must be taught about the risks and side effects involved in these procedures.
  • In any grade where the use of contraceptives is taught students should also learn the risks and side effects that come with using contraceptives.
  • I object to the removal of language about abstinence being the only 100% effective method of preventing transmission of sexually transmitted infections. The only sexual behavior which is 100% effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted infections is abstinence.
Thank you for your time serving on the Board of Education. I appreciate you considering these comments. I urge you to vote to protect children and teach them biological reality over ideology.

[Insert Name of Constituent]


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The Virginia Catholic Conference is the public policy agency representing Virginia’s Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.