The Montgomery County school board includes Nancy Navarro, Ben Moskowitz, Shirley Brandman, Jerry D. Weast, Stephen Abrams, Christopher S. Barclay, Sharon W. Cox, Judy Docca and Patricia O’Neill
A parents group is asking a judge to halt an explicit sex-education curriculum implemented by a Maryland school board that teaches homosexuality is innate and provides depictions of “erotic” sex techniques.
Brandon M. Bolling, of the Thomas More Law Center, told Judge William J. Rowan III that state law requires that information presented in public schools be supported with evidence, and the teaching that homosexuality is “innate” lacks that support.
“The Maryland law says you have to teach something that is factually accurate,” he told the judge. “They are not doing that. That is illegal.”
He also argued that the lessons required by Montgomery County Board of Education teach students how to use condoms in violation of a state prohibition against material that “portrays erotic techniques of sexual intercourse.”
The judge promised to issue a decision in a written ruling.
At issue is a series of lessons created by the Montgomery County school board for students that, opponents say, conflicts with the facts at hand.
“Declaring homosexuality to be ‘innate’ is a direct attack upon the ex-gay community and the possibility of changing one’s sexual orientation,” said Peter Sprigg, a Montgomery County resident and board member for Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays. He also served on the Citizens Advisory Committee that reviewed the curriculum.
“This statement was inserted into the curriculum at the last minute and was never reviewed by the Citizens Advisory Committee. It also directly contradicts the statement elsewhere in the curriculum that ‘sexual orientation results from an interaction of cognitive, environmental, and biological factors,'” he said.
Bolling said the Maryland State Board of Education had abdicated its responsibility by allowing Montgomery County arbitrarily to decide that classroom discussions of oral and anal intercourse did not violate a state law against discussions of such “erotic” techniques.
Montgomery County educators have defended their decision to present the explicit sexual instruction to students. They also say any criticism of the curriculum “intrudes” into their right to teach children.
The school system launched its work on the highly explicit sex curriculum six years ago, and it earlier was struck down by a federal judge because of its content that condemned religious perspectives that did not endorse homosexuality. The newest challenge is an edited version of the curriculum that still includes elements to which parents have objected, such as the statement that being “gay” is a natural trait that people have at birth.
“The Montgomery County Board of Education claims that teaching children to ‘respect’ transsexuality, homosexuality and cross-dressing is a ‘civic virtue,'” Regina Griggs, the executive director of PFOX, told WND earlier.
“But they refuse to teach respect for ex-gays or a child’s right to not embrace homosexuality,” she said.
The organization joined with Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and the Family Leader Network in filing the request for the stay of the program targeting middle school and high school students in the district.
The court may take into consideration the recent ruling from the Maryland Court of Appeals that concluded homosexual conduct is not immutable.
According to a blog on Montgomery County school issues, the court ruling “quoted laws from every state in the union except Massachusetts to support its finding that no gay gene exists.”
“Don’t forget, the sex ed curriculum does not discuss families (although the curriculum is called Family Life) spends much time pushing the gay agenda and directs students to chop off body parts and change their gender,” the commentary said.
Plaintiffs in the court challenge have raised concerns regarding “the normalization of anal sex by the curriculum without warning about the increased HIV/AIDS risk of anal sex (even with a condom); the labeling as ‘homophobic’ for children holding traditional religious or moral beliefs regarding homosexuality; the exclusion of any information regarding ex-gays; the inclusion of transgender as a sexual orientation, even though it is characterized by the American Psychological Association as a mental disorder; the claim that homosexuality is ‘innate,’ although there is no scientific or medical study that points definitively to its origin.”
Lacking, they say, is information from the Centers for Disease Control as well as the National Institute of Health raising concerns about the increased health risks of such alternative sexual lifestyle choices.
Also required is that students memorize “gay bullying” statistics provided by a homosexual advocacy organization, the plaintiffs note.
“Nowhere is abstinence or sex placed within the context of marriage. The word marriage is not mentioned in the 8th or 10th grade lessons,” the critique said.
WND has documented a number of earlier cases in which educators have promoted a homosexual lifestyle to children under their charge.
WND reported California Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell, under whose supervision hundreds of thousands of children are being educated, has used his state position and taxpayer-funded stationery to praise a “gay” pride event used in the past to expose children to sexually explicit activities.
That drew vehement objections from several educators, including Priscilla Schreiber, the president of the Grossmont Unified High School District governing board.
“I am outraged that a person in this high-ranking elected position would advocate an event where diversity is not just being celebrated but where pornography and indecent exposure is being perpetrated on the young and innocent children of our communities,” she said.
California’s legislature also approved a new law that will ban the use of any words or terms that can be perceived as derogatory to homosexuals, bisexuals, transgenders and those with other alternative lifestyles.
WND also covered the issue when officials in Boulder, Colo., held a seminar for students in which they were told to “have sex,” including same-sex experiences, and “take drugs.”
Another school event promoted homosexuality to students while banning parents, and at still another, WND reported school officials ordered their 14-year-old freshman class into a “gay” indoctrination seminar after having them sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell their parents.