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Maryland Court denies parents’ request to opt out of LGBT curriculum for their children



A Maryland district court is not allowing parents to opt out of a school district’s controversial LGBT curricula. History of the education system versus parents’ rights in the district is that parents once were allowed to opt their children out of gender and sexuality lessons; that is until March of this year when the district banned the option for parents.

In May, families filed a lawsuit against the district for a violation of their First Amendment right to protect and guide their children’s education and religious instruction. The district’s LGBTQ curricula introduces pre-K through eighth grade students to “inclusivity” books that contain references to gay pride parades, gender transition, and pronoun preference. Teachers are instructed to lead classroom discussions about the books, which cite terms such as, “intersex,” “drag queen,” and “non-binary.” One book claims that doctors only “guess” when determining a newborn’s sex.

The court concluded that, “the plaintiffs’ asserted due process right to direct their children’s upbringing by opting out of a public-school curriculum that conflicts with their religious views is not a fundamental right.”

Parents sought a preliminary injunction that would authorize opt-out options once school begins on August 28, which judge Deborah Boardman also denied:

“Because the plaintiffs have not established any of their claims is likely to succeed on the merits, the Court need not address the remaining preliminary injunction factors. Nonetheless, 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 . . . The plaintiffs seek the same relief pending appeal as in their preliminary injunction motion: an injunction that requires the Board to provide advance notice and opt-outs from instruction involving the storybooks and family life and human sexuality. For the reasons stated in this opinion, the Court cannot conclude the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of an appeal. The plaintiffs’ request for a preliminary injunction pending appeal is denied.”

Attorney for the families, Eric Baxter said that the school board “should let kids be kids and let parents parent.”

“Today, the district court decided parents have no right to notice when extreme ideology is pushed on their elementary-age children during story hour,” Baxter tweeted. “With the new school year beginning, the case is on the fast track to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals—and the parents plan to appeal the decision.”
“Children are entitled to enjoy a period of innocence and be guided by their own parents on how and when to approach the complex and sensitive issues being pushed by the School Board,” he added.

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