FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — What started out as an update to the school health curriculum has quickly turned into a disagreement between parents and the FCPS Board of Education. This argument has sprouted over sexual orientation and gender identity being taught in the classroom.
The update of the curriculum would include lessons on recognizing different ways people identify and express their gender identity.
It also includes teaching kids to respect transgender or non-binary individuals, but the meeting ended with nothing accomplished after it quickly delved into chaos following a shouting match between parents on both sides of the issue.
“I think there were a lot of people that came there with a misunderstanding of what the meeting was and what the process is and they were aggravated when they didn’t have the opportunity to share their opinion and then it became an enrolling situation where people were grabbing the microphone or shouting or shouting down staff as they were trying to talk and share it was an extremely bad situation,” FCPS Board President, Brad Young.
Kris Fair who is the director of the Frederick LGBTQ+ Center and an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community says this updated curriculum is needed for kids who have no outlet to talk about these types of topics.
“I can tell you all the way to almost the exact moment that I developed my first crush on a person of the same gender and it was all the way back in third grade, ironically, and at that time, there were no resources, there was nothing,” Director of the Frederick LGBTQ+ Center, Kris Fair explained.
Some of the parents I talked to who are against the update felt like the board didn’t display an appropriate level of transparency and felt like this decision should not be up to the government but instead up to the parents.
“It’s not appropriate to talk to five-year-olds and six-year-olds about it’s okay to be gay because five-year-olds and six-year-olds are looking to color inside the lines,” said Frederick County resident, Mark Joannides. “They’re not looking for ideology at five years old.”
“They think we’re all there because we don’t like people who are gay or transgender which couldn’t be farther from the truth,” Frederick County resident, Cindy Rose explained. “We just don’t want it taught to small children, that’s a parental concern and they should be talking about that, not public education.”
After speaking with a couple of parents they said that if the problem is not rectified they do plan on pressing the issue further at next week’s school board meeting.