Maryland School Board Says Parents Can't Opt Kids Out of LGBT Education

What’s happening: A diverse group of Maryland parents, encompassing Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox Christians, has launched a federal lawsuit against the Montgomery County Board of Education. The reason? The mandated inclusion of storybooks promoting "extreme ideology" about gender identity and sexuality for students from pre-K through the eighth grade.

The books: The board introduced these "inclusivity" books last fall, focusing heavily on contentious concepts like transgenderism and children's romantic emotions. One book aimed at 3- and 4-year-olds includes a task involving the words "intersex flag," "drag queen," "underwear," "leather," and the name of a renowned LGBT activist and sex worker. Another book pushes the notion that a child's decision to transition doesn't have to "make sense," suggesting that sex identification at birth is merely a doctor's "guess.”

No opting out: Despite initial promises from the school board that parents could opt their children out of these books and would be warned beforehand, the board reversed its position and made the books mandatory for all elementary students. Allegedly, one board member responded to parent concerns by saying that opting out simply provides “another reason” for children to harbor hate.

Between the lines: The media, politicians, and activists on the left have framed these efforts by concerned parents as “book banning,” although the books being rallied against are seen as inappropriate for children by the parents. Fully bought into radical gender theory and child transgenderism, those who criticize parents’ efforts to limit these books’ accessibility to children believe these books are not only appropriate but necessary.

Nationwide efforts: In states like Florida, bills to prevent these books from being taught in lower grade levels have been popular. Other states like Texas, Missouri, South Carolina, and Utah have followed suit.

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