Fairfax County School Board members are considering an Orwellian bias-incident reporting system for the district’s students. A similar reporting system is facing an uphill legal battle in neighboring Loudoun County. It would have students, parents and staff members report “any incident of inappropriate conduct, including, and without limitation, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, bullying, other violations of civil rights.”
In other words, Fairfax County Public Schools is signaling that the eyes of Big Brother are on our children.
The proposed changes to the district’s code of conduct further includes a mandatory “culturally responsive intervention” to any student accused of what the district defines as “hate speech.” In its most expansive definition, hate speech in Fairfax County Public Schools is “any form of expression intended to humiliate or incite hatred against a group or class of persons based upon their actual or perceived race, ethnicity, color, national origin, citizenship/immigration status, weight, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, or disability.”
Fairfax County school administrators use the “Bullying and Harassment Management System” for incident reporting. Why the district needs a broader system, what the cost of inevitable legal challenges regarding First Amendment violations will be, how administrators could possibly determine students’ intentionality and what the proposed reeducation training entails are all unclear.
This piece originally appeared in The Washington Post