A Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates who teaches at Centreville High School in Fairfax County sparked concern after making anti-transgender remarks.
History teacher Julie Perry, who is running for a seat in the 86th District, which covers Herndon and parts of Loudoun County, made the remarks in a May YouTube interview.
“If a high school male feels like a woman today, we have to let them in the locker rooms next year, and I had heard in Georgia there was actually a girl that got raped from something like this,” Perry said.
“What concerns me is if an adult in the building tries to manipulate somebody’s child into changing their identity or their gender,” she said.
In general, public school systems cannot bar teachers from running for office or expressing their First Amendment rights outside the classroom.
When asked to respond to concerns about Perry’s YouTube interview, a spokesperson for Fairfax County Public Schools said in a statement, “The views held by this teacher do not represent the views of FCPS. FCPS continues to work to foster an environment where all students and staff feel welcome.”.
Perry also faces criticism for a July Zoom panel appearance with educators supporting Republican candidate for governor Glenn Youngkin.
“To come out and say you’re a teacher on the right is almost as dangerous saying, as almost, say, going through Germany in the 1930s and saying, ‘I’m Jewish,’” Perry said.
In a statement, Robert Rigby, head of FCPS Pride, said, “As a teacher, I worry about the children in the room. I think Ms. Perry should do something else if she’s unwilling to welcome these kids.”
In August, Perry tweeted that she considers Gov. Ralph Northam’s mask mandate for public schools to be a form of child abuse.
News4 reached out to Perry and her campaign office for comment but has not received a reply.