Maryland’s largest school district unveiled an LGBTQ booklist for elementary students that teaches 4-year-olds about drag queens and 5th graders about transgenderism.
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) presented the reading material in a Powerpoint presentation to teachers as a part of a professional development workshop on the topic of “Building Community with LGBTQ+ Affirming Picture Books.”
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The school district promoted the workshop, saying the new booklist is designed to “reduce stigmatization and marginalization of transgender and gender nonconforming students,” per a Fox News report.
“All students deserve to see themselves in their school and classroom, including students who identify as LGBTQ+ and come from LGBTQ+ headed families and have family members that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community,” the presentation states.
It continues to say that there are no “planned explicit” lessons about “sexuality.”
“There are no planned explicit lessons related to gender and sexuality, but these books do mean that LGBTQ+ identities will be made visible. Inclusive curricula support a student’s ability to empathize, connect, and collaborate with a diverse group of peers, and encourage respect for all,” the PowerPoint says.
The presentation adds that no one who “does not agree or understand” a student’s gender identity will be urged to change their opinion.
“No child, or adult, who does not agree with or understand another student’s gender identity or expression or their sexuality identity is asked to change how they feel about it.”
MCPS recommended specific books for each grade level, each year increasing the sexual content. For instance, Kindergarten teachers in the district are being told to read their students “Pride Puppy,” a book that teaches children about drag queens and being intersex.
As the students are around the age of five or six, teachers are supposed to read “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” with the children. In this story, “Uncle Bobby” gets married to another man. MCPS says this story will teach children to “recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals,” according to the MCPS guide.
By the time the students reach 5th grade, they are supposed to read “Born Ready,” a story about a transgender child.
The MCPS guide says the district hopes that when students read this book, they will notice “how happy Penelope is when his mom hears him and commits to sharing with their loved ones that he is a boy–say again that we know ourselves best.”
The workshop instructs teachers to tell parents they can’t opt their children out of the readings and class discussions, saying the lessons are not about sex or anatomy but instead about diversity.
Additionally, teachers are told they should scold students who ask legitimate questions about the radical lessons. The presentation provides a sample comment from a student who says, “That’s weird, He can’t be a boy if he was born a girl. What body parts do they have?”
The school district’s suggested answer to such a question reads, “That comment is hurtful; we shouldn’t use negative words to talk about peoples’ identities. Sometimes when we learn information that is different from what we always thought, it can be confusing and hard to process. When we are born, people make a guess about our gender and label us ‘boy’ or ‘girl’ based on our body parts. Sometimes they’re right, and sometimes they’re wrong.”
The example response continues to tell students that physical anatomy does not decide gender.
“Our body parts do not decide our gender. Our gender comes from inside – we might feel different than what people tell us we are. We know ourselves best,” the response concludes.
MCPS told Fox the materials are age-appropriate and parents will be notified of their usage in the classroom.
“As part of MCPS’ mission to equity, ‘instructional materials are chosen to reflect the diversity of our global community, the aspirations, issues and achievements of women, persons with disabilities, persons from diverse, racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, as well as persons of diverse gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation,'” the school district added.