Hundreds of parents are demanding that Maryland’s largest school district allow them to opt out of classes and books that discuss topics like sexuality and gender.
Parents of different religious faiths, including Christians and Muslims, rallied outside the headquarters of the Montgomery County Public Schools Tuesday to show their solidarity and stand up to the district‘s controversial LGBTQ curriculum.
Deseret News contributing writer Bethany Mandel, also a mother, argued it’s a parent’s right to tackle controversial topics, including sexuality and gender ideology, with their children on their own terms on “Fox & Friends First.”
MCPS, which is the wealthiest district in Maryland, announced last year efforts to include an LGBTQ-inclusive reading list as part of its English language arts curriculum.
As a result, parents in the community have banded together to advocate for more influence in their kids’ curriculum.
MCPS parent Dawn Iannaco-Hahn said she wanted to attend a school board meeting addressing the matter, but said the event was invite-only.
Allegations that the school board held the meeting with only a certain group of people could indicate it violated the Open Meetings Act, which requires “many State and local public bodies to hold their meetings in public, to give the public adequate notice of those meetings, and to allow the public to inspect meetings minutes,” the attorney general’s website reads.
Many parents took to the podium to express their angst surrounding the controversial topics their elementary school students would be exposed to during that meeting.
“Introducing sexual behavior and preference at an early age raises legitimate concern for us parents,” one parent said.
“Where’s the respect or does inclusion and respect only apply to a specific group?” another parent questioned.
She said there were plenty of minority parents in attendance alongside Muslim and Christian families to show their support.
“What was really incredible was I was in the minority as far as ethnicity there. It was largely Black and Brown, a lot of Christians,” Mandel said. “What was really inspiring was there was also a number of Muslim families there on a fast day. They had been fasting all day long in the Washington, D.C., heat, in the pouring rain, the skies opened up in the middle of the rally.”
“It started with about a thousand people and there were… hundreds of people when I got there after the storm let up. It was really incredible,” she continued. “They were all sort of there on message, and as one of the speakers said, it wasn’t partisan. It was just truly like, we want a right to say what our kids are learning.”