(PatriotWise.com) — An August 24 decision by a federal judge in Maryland is slated to remove protections afforded to parents that allowed them to remove their children from instruction related to LGBTQ issues. A prior policy allowed families to opt their children out of curricula that conflicted with their personal views on the grounds of religious freedom.
Because the decision took place at the federal level, a binding national precedent has potentially been set. Unless the Supreme Court overturns the issue on appeal, the decision is here to stay. The Maryland court ruled that a parent’s previous opt-out option was “not a fundamental right.”
The genesis of the issue came after parents in Maryland’s Montgomery County sued the school district after administrators chose to revoke their opt-out policy. Administrators said they were forced to rescind the rule after the district was flooded with an unsustainable number of opt-out requests.
The parents in question argued in court that the revocation forced their families to violate both their religious beliefs and to needlessly seek alternative schooling by default. Deborah Boardman, the presiding judge, said the parents had failed to show that the LGBTQ-friendly lessons would lead to the “indoctrination” of students or “otherwise coerce” their families into changing their beliefs.
Boardman further said that schools are obligated to accommodate the integration of gender nonconforming and transgender students. Following her decision, officials in Montgomery County said they remained “committed” to fostering “an inclusive” environment for students to learn in.
Montgomery County’s LGBTQ policies are responsible for introducing “inclusivity” books to students as early as pre-kindergarten. Current books reference gay pride, drag queens, pronoun usage, non-binary themes, and gender transitions.
One such book tells children that doctors only “guess” what a person’s gender is. Current district policy dictates that teachers have class discussions with their students about the issues covered in the LGBTQ material. Twenty of the inclusivity-themed books were introduced to students in 2022.
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