Parents Protest Loss of Rights: A Muslim-led coalition of parents united against Montgomery County Public Schools’ new policy, which removes the option to restrict their children’s exposure to LGBTQ+ discussions, sparking a fierce debate on parental rights and inclusivity.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) faced intense opposition from a Muslim-led coalition of parents and community members, who are protesting against a recent policy change that denies them the right to opt their children out of discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity. This situation comes as the school district approves a list of LGBTQ+-inclusive books, suitable for all age groups, including pre-kindergarten students.
The group chanted “Protect our children!” at the MCPS building, arguing that their parental rights have been infringed upon. The coalition agrees that incorporating LGBTQ+-inclusive texts into the curriculum is acceptable, yet they demand the right to determine what information their children are exposed to. Hisham Garti, Outreach Director of the Montgomery County Muslim Council, emphasized the importance of love and respect for one another, rather than forcing a single belief upon students.
Recently, a federal lawsuit was filed by a group of Muslim and Christian parents, who asserted that the ‘no opt-out’ policy impairs their constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion. Controversial books, such as “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” and “Pride Puppy,” were named in the lawsuit, with the latter targeting three-to-four-year-olds and exposing them to encounters they might observe during a Pride parade.
During the school board’s meeting, board members listened to advocates from both sides of the issue, with no resolution made. Outside the building, protesters engaged in