Montgomery County, one of Maryland’s most liberal bastions, has rescinded the rights of parents to opt their kids out of progressive LGBTQ+ curriculums in their public school system. It’s the latest slap in the face of parents fighting to maintain control of what their children are exposed to in the classroom.
In May, parents of various faiths collectively filed a lawsuit against the members of the Montgomery County school board and Superintendent Dr. Monifa McNight. This action came in response to the district’s choice to forgo notifying parents when teachers chose to introduce LGBTQ+ materials within the classroom.
The decision was an unwelcome reversal of the district’s initial policy of notifying parents when the controversial and potentially offensive materials were to be used and allowing them to opt their child out of the instruction.
Some of the books in question include “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” “My Rainbow,” and “Pride Puppy.” Books such as these focus on gender transition, gay pride, and pronoun preferences. The materials are targeting children of all grade levels, from pre-K through eighth grade.
The concerned parents in Montgomery County requested a preliminary injunction that would allow them to choose to opt out of their kids from the curriculum. In the suit, parents asserted that they weren’t requesting the books’ removal from schools but that parents be permitted to have a say in whether they were appropriate for their kids.
At the heart of the lawsuit is a Maryland law that stipulates that school boards must allow parents the option to exclude “instruction that touches family life and human sexuality” from their children’s education. Parents believe that teaching LGBTQ+ ideology is included in the law, while MCPS claims that the “storybooks” are used in English classes and are exempt from “opting out.”
In other words, under Maryland law, parents can choose to opt out of sex education classes aimed at heterosexuality and science-based roles in anatomy, physiology, and biology in sexual reproduction. But because they cannot remove their child from general classroom instruction, they have no ability to block their child from offensive alternative ideology when it’s presented in a core class.
For parents, it’s a clear-cut case of infringing on their constitutionally guaranteed religious rights. For the school board, it’s a way to continue indoctrination practices without parental interference. Lawyers for the MCPS state that “exposure to offensive ideas” doesn’t count as a constitutional violation, adding that parents can’t opt out of science classes for advancing evolutionary theories. Further, the lawyers claim, parents should suck it up because it’s “part of the bargain in going to public school.”
The parties argued their case in front of Biden-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Boardman on August 24, just four days before kids hit the classrooms for the 2023/2024 school year. It was immediately apparent how the case was going to play out.
According to Boardman, the case had no merits and was unlikely to be successfully appealed, rendering an injunction useless. She further ruled that the material has no conflict with the constitutional rights of the parents.
Boardman ruled, “Because a constitutional violation is not likely or imminent, it follows that the plaintiffs are not likely to suffer imminent irreparable harm, and the balance of the equities and the public interest favor denying an injunction to avoid undermining the School Board’s legitimate interests in the no-opt-out policy.”
Boardman argues that the policy does not prohibit parents from addressing LGBTQ+ topics with their kids, not does it force them to give up their religious beliefs. She notes that parents are not forced to violate religious beliefs to “obtain the benefits of public education.”
It should be noted that the questionable material would never pass the FCC requirements for broadcast. If the books were read live on TV or radio, the stations would be fined for “obscenity.” Likewise, school boards have thrown out parents who attempt to read the material during meetings to showcase their offensiveness because the explicit material is “inappropriate” for a meeting.
The latest forcible removal of a parent who attempted to expose graphic content available in school libraries was during an August 23 school board meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. The concerned father began reading an excerpt from “Flamer,” a graphic novel. He was thrown out shortly after reading the dialogue featuring a character asking, “Who wants my hot wiener?”
Court filings revealed that a driving factor in the MCPS decision to eliminate opting out of LGTBQ+ teaching was because the schools in the district couldn’t keep up with the “growing number of opt-out requests” it was receiving after approving the curriculum last year.
That means that the district is willfully choosing to defy the will of many parents.
Forcing insane indoctrination on children against their parents’ choice may seem like a winning strategy now, but It’s a concern that more and more parents are acknowledging. Progressives should heed the alarm bells: leave our kids alone or, like liberals in Virigina, face the consequences at the polls.