A federal court in Montgomery County, Maryland, has ruled that parents do not have the right to be notified when their children will be taught from books that address gender and sexuality. A group of parents, along with Becket Law, which advocates for religious liberty, plans to appeal the decision.
Currently, teachers can read books to children that include references to drag queens, pronoun preferences, and homosexuality. One of the books, Pride Puppy, is aimed atchildren as young as 3 and encourages kids to search for pictures in a word list that includes the terms “intersex flag,” “drag queen,” and “underwear.” Other books talk about romantic feelings in young children, and instruct teachers to tell students that doctors can only “guess” about a newborn’s gender.
Parents were able to opt their children out of such lessons until March of this year, when the Montgomery County school district banned that option. Maryland law requires schools to notify parents when classroom material will include teaching on family life and sexuality, but the school district claims that these lessons do not fall under that category.
Becket Law will represent a diverse group of parents, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, in the appeal. The case will now be fast-tracked to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Parents know and love their children best; that’s why all kids deserve to have their parents help them understand issues like gender identity and sexuality,” said Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “The school board’s decision to cut parents out of these discussions flies in the face of parental freedom, childhood innocence and basic human decency.”