Caitlin Edmondson stepped to the rostrum through the Carroll County Board of Education’s public remark session earlier this month and urged board members to not undertake the state’s new well being curriculum, which she mentioned would “sexualize” younger college students. Other dad and mom referred to as the plan “sexual indoctrination.”
The matter was not on the college board’s April 13 assembly agenda and no members provided feedback on the problem. Jim Rodriguez, the college system’s supervisor of well being and bodily training, mentioned the CCPS Family Life Advisory Committee will talk about the subject at its June 2 assembly.
The Maryland State Board of Education adopted the Comprehensive Health Education Framework in October 2019, a 51-page doc that particulars broad ideas college students would be taught at every grade stage. It contains curriculum pointers for well being training with instruction on sexual orientation and gender identification taught in an age-appropriate method to youngsters from preschool by means of twelfth grade.
The Framework Writing Committee included officers from 9 public faculty districts all through Maryland, together with Carroll County. Christine Tobias, assistant supervisor of well being training at Carroll County Public Schools, was a member. Tobias didn’t reply to requests for remark.
The framework states that pre-kindergarten college students will “recognize and respect that people express themselves in many different ways” and that kindergartens will “recognize it is important to treat people of all gender identities and expressions with dignity and respect.” It additionally states that first-graders will “identify a range of ways people identify and express gender.”
Several dad and mom, together with Edmondson, introduced up the subject throughout public remark on the April 13 Carroll County faculty board assembly.
“I refuse to allow the state or the public school system to sexualize my young children,” Edmondson mentioned. “This is sexual grooming that is being passed off as diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Some dad and mom additionally spoke about their disapproval of rainbow pleasure flags that some lecturers had been displaying inside Carroll County public faculty lecture rooms. The flags had been supplied by a neighborhood chapter of the equality advocacy nonprofit PFLAG, which stands for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
“After reading about the state health education’s framework that is currently being reviewed and the recent distribution of pride flags in all of the schools in the county, I’m very concerned,” Edmondson mentioned.
Joy Fisher, Westminster’s chapter president of PFLAG and a venture supervisor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore didn’t attend the college board assembly, however was conscious of what was mentioned. She mentioned the state’s well being curriculum is aligned with fashionable analysis and is developmentally acceptable for youngsters.
“Research shows that children have an understanding of their gender identity by age 4,” Fisher mentioned, citing a 2018 coverage assertion from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“If one actually reviews the (MSDE) framework guidelines, pre-kindergarten children learn to recognize that there are different types of families, i.e. single parent, same-gender parents, interracial, adoptive, etc. [and] part of the framework includes understanding that people express themselves in many different ways … learning about gender identity, gender expression, and family make-up, such as children with same-gender parents, has nothing to do with teaching about sex,” Fisher mentioned.
Fisher believes the brand new state pointers will foster a wholesome and supportive classroom tradition by serving to youngsters make sense of the various world round them.
“Learning about diverse family compositions is very appropriate and is in keeping with the real world,” Fisher mentioned. “Young children will have classmates who have different families than their own, and they will have classmates who express themselves in diverse ways.”
Kathleen Clagg, who has a grandson within the faculty system, said in her feedback through the assembly that folks ought to determine what’s finest for his or her youngsters.
“I’m troubled and I’m disturbed at what the Maryland state board has decided for this state, and I’m so afraid that our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be subjected to this,” Clagg mentioned. “Our children deserve better. Children belong to the parents, not this county, not the state. Do not refuse to acknowledge what parents want for their children; it is their right, not yours.”
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Rodriguez mentioned the Family Life Advisory Committee will work with the college board to align the curriculum with the “values of the community.” The committee is comprised of about 30 father or mother and college representatives from elementary, center, and excessive colleges, he added.
“As the local curriculum is developed, the committee is looking at those standards and those indicators and also receiving some insight from the board on what they want us to invest in as far as that framework,” Rodriguez mentioned.
The Family Life Advisory Committee will maintain its subsequent common assembly on June 2 and can talk about the brand new well being curriculum at the moment, he mentioned.
Last month, the Frederick County Public Schools Board of Education confronted pushback from involved dad and mom on the brand new well being curriculum. That county’s faculty board voted unanimously to approve the state’s pointers at its March 23 assembly, and its Family Life Advisory Committee was beset by about 100 protestors throughout an early April assembly. As a outcome, the Frederick faculty board launched an announcement affirming its resolution to honor the state-mandated requirements.
“The elected Board of Education of Frederick County approves essential curriculum standards,” the assertion mentioned. “[We are] committed to creating a system that welcomes, includes and affirms every child, family, staff member and community member. Our children are watching, and our children and community are too important for Frederick County to detour from our caring and respectful nature when discussing issues.”