The Unfair Facts of Fairfax

Barb Wire

In Virginia’s Fairfax County, parents were already worried about what schools were teaching. Now they’re just as concerned about what they’re hiding. In a story that’s exploding across the state, locals have been outraged to learn that Fairfax’s school board is so intent on hiding the truth about its controversial transgender policy that it’s suing to keep the documents under wraps!

Judicial Watch broke the news yesterday, less than 24 hours before voters streamed into polling stations to pick the school board’s members for the next term. The cover-up, part of an ongoing battle with conservatives, goes back to early summer when Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for any communications about the board’s radical “gender identity” policy — which it rushed through this spring over the objections of hundreds of angry parents.

Like so many “non-discrimination” measures marching through U.S. schools, Fairfax’s not only lets students and teachers use opposite sex bathrooms and locker rooms, but forces teachers to start incorporating “gender fluidity” curriculum in their classrooms. Furious, the Fairfax community jumped into action, vowing to repeal the policy and oust the 10 school board members responsible.

Meanwhile, Judicial Watch promised to get to the bottom of the county’s agenda with seven separate FOIA requests. After dragging their feet for more than five months, Fairfax officials finally turned over a handful of documents last week — less than seven days before the board’s election! But that’s not the worst of it. Last Friday, the board admitted that it had thousands of additional pages of information — but refused to share it!

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“Judicial Watch tried to negotiate the release of most of the 2,000 pages of documents before Election Day,” the group explained, “but the very school board up for election [today] sued Judicial Watch this past Friday, an effort that [prevented] public access to records prior to the election. The Fairfax County School Board also hired an outside firm — at taxpayer expense — for the lawsuit.”

If it sounds outrageous, that’s because it is! The same taxpayers who deserve access to these records are now paying attorneys to keep them in the dark! At this point, that’s more of an indictment of the school board than anything the FOIA could have exposed. Yesterday, in a joint statement, the seven candidates challenging for school board seats had plenty to say about the city’s stalling tactics. “Refusing to release information, rightfully requested by citizens, is the height of arrogance… The majority of the board has stopped listening to the community, and it’s time for them to go.”

For now, most people want to know: what is the Fairfax County School Board hiding? Any district that would go to these lengths — even filing a lawsuit in circuit court — to keep the lid on its communications must have a dark reason for doing so. Judicial Watch already exposed the fact that the board hired someone to implement the transgender policy before the vote even took place.

“Several emails and documents obtained by concerned parents… this week revealed that on the night of the vote, school administrators had already hired a consultant… In addition, school board members have been paying the consultant with taxpayer money without a written contract.” Then, calling it one of the “worst” sort of game-playing, Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton blasted the board’s politicians. “[They] actually went to court to sue [us] in order to keep documents about its transgender policies from citizen requesters until after the election. This election-eve ploy is as abusive of transparency law as anything we have seen in D.C.”

No wonder locals want to clean house in Fairfax County. As in Houston, the message couldn’t be clearer: liberals can’t pass their radical policies on the merits. Instead, they have to cheat and abuse power to accomplish what most polling shows America never wanted in the first place!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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