After a lengthy discussion Thursday night, the Fairfax County School Board voted 9-0 with three abstentions to adopt the inclusion and diversity policy statement that the county’s Board of Supervisors approved unanimously Tuesday. School Board members who voted in favor stressed that the vote represented no change in policy, but merely an endorsement of the Supervisors’ effort over a considerable period to adopt a comprehensive policy resolution, and that it will help make students “feel safer” in the county’s public school buildings.
There is a lot of anxiety at the moment, members pointed out numerous times, with the implementation of new federal immigration restrictions and the ongoing efforts to combat bullying and anti-LGBT discrimination in the schools. A large contingent of supporters of the new Supervisors’ resolution was on hand, standing with pink signs that promoted inclusion and diversity, as well as to speak to the issue before the board.
The county board statement affirmed, among other things, that the county “is and will continue to be a county that exemplifies values of respect and acceptance,” welcoming and celebrating “one another’s differences and cultural backgrounds.”