The Nation’s Largest Muslim Advocacy Group Accuses Maryland School System of Misleading Court
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group, has accused the Maryland school system of misleading a federal court regarding its efforts to prevent parents from opting their children out of lessons promoting homosexuality and transgenderism.
CAIR has obtained documents revealing that a labor union representing principals also shared similar concerns. Principals in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) claim that the school system publicly assured parents that it would not indoctrinate their children, only to force principals to bear the brunt of implementing the opposite.
New Fault Lines on Sexual Indoctrination
These dual criticisms from the Muslim group and the labor union highlight the emerging fault lines on sexual indoctrination in minority-heavy, Democrat-dominated school systems like MCPS. This large district, located outside of Washington, D.C., witnessed protests this summer where hundreds of immigrants gathered to advocate for parental rights, while white female Democrat activists shouted them down.
MCPS argued that it prohibited opt-outs due to the disruptive nature of the high number of parents wanting to opt out. However, in response to a public records request, MCPS admitted to having no data on the number of people seeking opt-outs. Additionally, a CAIR official stated in a deposition that a school official repeatedly attributed the decision to pressure from a few LGBT activists.
CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell condemned MCPS, stating, “Contrary to its claims, MCPS has indeed instructed Pre-K through 12 English teachers to teach detailed concepts that would normally arise in sex education courses and then scold, debate, or silence only children who express traditional or religious views about those topics. This is wrong. So is MCPS’ decision to mislead the public and a federal court about why it canceled the opt-out option earlier this year.”
Emails obtained by CAIR reveal that the district’s principals union expressed anger in November 2022 over MCPS publicly assuring parents that it would not indoctrinate their children, only to later order principals to do so. The union argued that internal documents contradict MCPS’ claim that LGBTQ books were merely examples of literature being studied in English, suggesting that they support explicit teaching of gender and sexual identity.
MCPS documents also replace the term “parents” with “caregivers” and provide instructions to teachers on how to dismiss concerns from parents. For instance, when asked if the school is trying to teach their child to reject their values, teachers are instructed to respond by highlighting that children are increasingly identifying as LGBTQ+ themselves, even in elementary school.
Another document advises teachers on how to respond to students who express differing views on gender identity. The union criticized the suggested response, stating that teachers were being forced to make shaming comments to children and present personal opinions as facts.
The union also raised concerns about MCPS pushing books about transgenderism to young elementary school students before they receive sex education in fifth grade. It argued that the content of these books does not align with the school’s stated messages and requested that MCPS consider alternative titles that better align with their communicated intent.
MCPS’ choice of books includes titles such as “Pride Puppy” for preschoolers, “Intersection Allies” for first graders, “My Rainbow” about an autistic girl who identifies as transgender for second graders, and ”Love, Violet” about a young girl falling in love with another girl in her class for fourth graders. The principals union criticized the portrayal of elementary school children falling in love and argued that it is problematic regardless of sexual preferences.
The union also referenced a critical race theory-based document that encouraged students to judge literature based on the race of the author, calling it exclusionary. It further disputed MCPS’ claim that the books were used as examples of literature, arguing that MCPS hoped the books would lead to “curious exploration.”
As a result of these concerns, some parents view MCPS’ refusal to allow opt-outs as potential indoctrination or hidden agendas.
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