The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal by the Islamic Saudi Academy Monday to expand its campus on Popes Head Road in Fairfax.
The school's request to expand its smaller campus in Fairfax, not its larger site in Alexandria, has drawn scrutiny from politicians and critics alike.
"The traffic there is already bad and it's going to be intolerable once that school is there," said James Lafferty, a school expansion opponent.
But Lafferty is much more concerned about ideology than he is with traffic. Lafferty believes the academy's curriculum fosters hatred and intolerance -- allegations school officials have strongly denied. But the school has removed language from textbooks that some would find offensive.
"But all the previous textbooks were just chuck-full of anti-Semitic, anti-American rhetoric and we don't think there's any room for that in this country," he said.
On Monday night, Fairfax County officials approved the school's bid to expand, which would eventually add hundreds of students to the Fairfax campus.
Fairfax County Supervisor Penelope Gross says the decision was not based on the school's teachings but on zoning issues.
"I was quite frankly impressed with the students who came before us at the public hearing a few of weeks ago," she said. "We do not have the authority to weigh in and make our decisions on the basis ethics of credo or anything like that. We don't do that with the parochial schools, we shouldn't be doing that with Islamic Saudi Academy."
Repeated attempts to contact school officials have proved unsuccessful.