A concerned community member reached out to Parents Defending Education regarding a survey that was provided to students at West Springfield High School within Fairfax County Public Schools. The survey had a question asking the preferred pronouns and names of students. The survey asked: “Preferred Names and pronouns.” The question also had an asterisk showing that it was mandatory.
PDE obtained mails from the school’s principal. The principal acknowledged that some teachers under his jurisdiction do add questions about preferred pronouns and names in their surveys to students at the beginning of the school year. He explained that responding to any question is optional and that there was no directive to include certain questions on the form. The community member who reached out to PDE explained that the pronoun question was mandatory and that she knew of multiple teachers asking similar questions. The principal then explained to this community member that the question should not have been mandatory.
The concerned community member explained to PDE that parents throughout the county had similar forms sent to their children at their respective schools. Someone who works in a local elementary school also explained that teachers within the school now list their pronouns next to their names on their classroom doors.