- Fellow Editors
Imagine…And Then Fight This Bill!
The Effects of Forcing a State Sex Education Framework on REAL Students, Parents, and Grandparents
A nine-year-old child comes home and tells his grandmother that she is a liar because she told him only women could have babies. His teacher said men could.
A five-year-old comes home and tells her Mom and Dad that she is a boy because she likes playing with trucks and that she doesn’t want to be a girl anymore. Her teacher said that she should be a boy.
A twelve-year-old going through puberty sits in a class with his teacher who is describing solo, vaginal, oral and anal sex. He is expected to talk about these acts with his classmates. He then goes home and tells his parents that these sex acts are “okay and everyone does them” without consequence. “It’s just sex,” he says.
A sixteen-year-old decides she doesn’t want to be a girl anymore so tells everyone to stop calling her by her given name but by a male name. She doesn’t discuss this with her parents who don’t find out until a teacher lets it slip. The sixteen-year-old alienates herself from her parents. A school counselor told the girl she might be a boy because she doesn’t want to have menstrual periods.
Do these situations sound outrageous to you? They are not. These are actual, real-life situations happening to real people. These are not politically powerful or famous people; just normal people just trying to live their lives and raise their children.
These are not organically created situations. Some of them might have been precipitated by social media. But most of them will originate with HB 119/SB 199 in Maryland, Primary and Secondary Education – Health Education Framework – Established. This bill would require all counties in Maryland to create an “age-appropriate” curriculum that is consistent with the Comprehensive Health Education Framework.
The phrase “age appropriate” in the title is laughable. Here is what the bill sponsor, Delegate Atterbury from Howard County, Maryland, considers “age appropriate.”
Pre-K – 12 – gender identity and expression 4th Grade – sexual orientation is a person’s physical and/or romantic attraction to an individual of the same and/or different gender 6th Grade – Define sex assigned at birth, gender identity, and gender expression 7th Grade – Identify solo, vaginal, anal, and oral sex along with possible outcomes of each. 9th Grade – 12th grade Analyze ways systemic oppression and intersectionality* impact the sexual agency of communities of color and other marginalized groups.
*intersectionality- Intersectionality is an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identities combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege. Intersectionality identifies multiple factors of advantage and disadvantage.
Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary (Howard County, Maryland) and her fellow Democrats, want to make this LAW in Maryland. It will be a law that school systems will have to teach the Framework OR lose funding. And every child in Maryland who attends a public school and many who attend private schools will be subjected to this.
Parents will have no say.
The creators of the bill did put in an “opt out” choice for parents. Here is how it is stated in the bill:
EACH COUNTY BOARD SHALL ESTABLISH POLICIES, GUIDELINES, AND PROCEDURES FOR A PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO OPT OUT OF THE FAMILY LIFE AND HUMAN SEXUALITY OR THE GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION TOPICS FOR THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN’S STUDENT IN EACH GRADE IN WHICH THOSE TOPICS ARE TAUGHT
Sounds good except for two things. First, “opting out” is not the same as allowing parents to choose for their child to participate. “Opting out” means that the burden is on the PARENTS to know ahead of time when the units are being taught, know what the opt out procedures are, and know where the opt out form is. Many parents say their kids are terrible about bringing information home. Even if the opt out form is online, it is often hidden on a district’s website with the hope no one will find it.
And, in case that wasn’t enough, the state built in a clause that basically nullifies any opt out:
THE COUNTY BOARD MAY NOT AUTHORIZE A PARENT OR GUARDIAN TO OPT THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN’S STUDENT OUT OF EDUCATION RELATING TO HIV AND AIDS PREVENTION
If we look back at the proposed units, any unit promoting vaginal, oral, or anal sex can and will be related to HIV and AIDS Prevention. The county will be prevented, by law, from letting parents opt out of this particular unit. And this unit is probably the one most parents object to the most.
It’s a typical government bait and switch where an option that doesn’t really exist is promoted as an answer to those who object.
Many testified in front of the House Bill last week and were greeted with scorn by many Democrat delegates.
It’s not too late to object to this bill and if we can’t stop it, put a huge speed bump in front of it.
First, we must insist that there is not an “opt out” but an “opt in” clause in this law. Parents must be allowed to choose to have their child participate in any part of the units that promote HUMAN SEXUALITY; GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION at any grade level.
Districts will complain that this puts too much of the responsibility on them to get parental permission. This is a red herring argument, as school systems can easily track which kids should and should not be participating and publish a list to teachers well in advance of these units. Teachers can prepare and schools can even create groups that will and will not be taught these units.
Second, the clause that prevents the “opt out” of lessons that teach about HIV and AIDS must be eliminated. This clause basically gives schools carte blanche to designate any lesson as critical to HIV and AIDS education and deny parents from opting out.
There will be some who claim that those who oppose this bill or parents who opt out of the lessons are “homophobes” or “Transphobes.” This is a ridiculous argument. The people who oppose this bill or want to opt their kids out of the curriculum don’t think teaching about sexuality of any kind is the job of the schools. They look at recent test scores and remind the schools that their main job is to teach academics, not sex habits or choices. And they want to be the voices that shape their children’s values and morals.
To testify against this bill or to testify that an “opt in” choice is given to parents, the information is below.
This week, the Maryland Senate will have a hearing on this bill:
Hearing: Feb 8 @ 1:00 pm Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Hearing
Members: Committees – Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee (maryland.gov)
(Their emails can be found there so you can write them)
Guidelines on how to testify: 2023-Senate-Witness-GuidelinesDOWNLOAD
Comprehensive Health Framework Manual Download: Health_Education_Framework_July_2022DOWNLOAD
Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Writer for Radio Free Oxford
February 5, 2023
Jan is a retired teacher and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot
© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Jan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org