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Muslim Group, Principals Union Say School System Lied To Stop Parents From Opting Their Children Out Of Transgender Lessons

Labor union representing principals joins with CAIR in blasting school district, with principals union saying the school district was publicly claiming it wasn’t indoctrinating kids, then forcing staff to do it anyway and take the heat.

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Montgomery County parents stage 'Family rights & Religious freedom' demonstration
Photo by Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The nation’s largest Muslim advocacy group said Monday that a Maryland school system misled a federal court about its efforts to block parents from “opting out” their children of lessons pushing homosexuality and transgenderism.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also obtained documents showing that a labor union representing principals harbored similar concerns, with the principals saying that Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was publicly telling parents it wouldn’t indoctrinate kids, then forcing principals to take the heat for doing the opposite.

The dual broadsides by the Muslim group and labor union highlight new fault lines on sexual indoctrination in minority-heavy, Democrat-dominated school systems like MCPS, a large district outside of Washington, D.C. Hundreds of immigrants gathered for protests this summer to advocate for parental rights, while white female Democrat activists shouted them down.

MCPS claimed it prohibited opt-outs because so many parents wanted to opt out that it was causing a disruption, but it also said in response to a public records request that it had no data on the number of people who wanted to opt out, and a CAIR official said in a deposition that a school official said repeatedly that it was actually because of advocacy from a few LGBT activists.

“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,” CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said in a statement.

Emails show that the district’s principals union wrote in November 2022 that principals were angry that the school district was publicly telling parents that it wouldn’t indoctrinate their kids, then leaving principals to take the fire when they were ordered to do it anyway.

MCPS said that it was simply using LBTQ books as examples of literature to study English, but internal documents “contradict the overarching messaging and seem to support the explicit teaching of gender and sexual identify,” the union wrote.

MCPS documents erase “parents” altogether and refer only to “caregivers.” A document called “Responding to Caregivers/Community Questions” instructs teachers how to dismiss concerns from parents.

In response to the complaint that “Ideas about gender diversity go against the values we are instilling in my child at home. Are you trying to teach my child to reject these values?” they should say that children are “increasingly, identifying as LGBTQ+ themselves, even in elementary school.”

In response to “Can I keep my child home when students are learning about LGBTQ+ topics?” it gives a long speech about “equity” before giving a “no” dressed up as a “yes,” saying: “Parents always have the choice to keep their student(s) home while using these texts; however, it will not be an excused absence.” Parents who keep their child out of school for extended unexcused absences can be charged with promoting truancy.

In response to “Are these books appropriate? What place do they have in the classroom?” it claims they are simply examples of literature being studied in English, as well as being used for social emotional learning.

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Another MCPS document tells teachers how to respond to students, saying if a student says that a boy can’t be a girl, the teacher should tell the child that “that comment is hurtful” and that they are wrong. The principals union said staff was being forced to make a “shaming comment to a child” and “state as a fact” something that was not necessarily a fact.

The union said that the answer teachers were instructed to give to a student who says being gay is against their religion is “dismissive of religious beliefs.”

It said that principals were being asked to push books about transgenderism to young elementary school students, before they even take sex-ed in fifth grade.

“Numerous concerns have been raised by principals, teachers, and community members that the content of the books does not align with the stated messages” and “Principals are requesting that MCPS consider other titles that more closely align to the communicated intent,” the union wrote.

MCPS wanted preschoolers to read a book about a drag queen called “Pride Puppy,” have first graders read a “difficult and unengaging” book called “Intersection Allies,” and have second graders read a book called “My Rainbow” about an autistic girl who “comes to understand she identifies transgender [sic].”

Fourth graders are asked to read “Love, Violet” about a “young school-age girl who falls in love with another girl in her class.”

“It is problematic to portray elementary school age children falling in love with other children, regardless of sexual preferences,” the principals union wrote.

It also referenced a critical race theory-based document that encouraged students to judge a work of literature based on the race of the person who wrote it. “This criterion is exclusionary,” the principals wrote.

It said that the documents contradicted MCPS’ claims that they were reading such books merely as examples of literature, rather than pushing the content, when it said it hoped the books would lead to “curious exploration.”

“MCPS has stated publicly that there is no option to opt-out, with the rationale that MCPS is simply providing books about inclusion of LGBTQ+ characters and inclusivity. However, due to the concerns shared earlier about the plot and nature of the books, this creates a significant concern by some parents about ‘indoctrination’ or ‘hidden agendas,’” the union wrote.

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