LUSBY, Md. – The following letter comes from Mariam Canning of Huntingtown, Maryland. It was sent in on behalf of a group known as Calvert Parents for Education.
A few weeks ago it was brought to the attention of this community that a Calvert County Public School Kindergarten teacher from Dowell Elementary was introducing her students to a book that features a romantic love story between a male prince and a male knight. As a parent I was surprised that an adult thought this was appropriate for 5 year olds, given that it may spark deeper conversations, but equally as concerned at her attempts to double down– responding to concerned parents on social media in such a way as to indicate that a parent’s right to guide their child’s upbringing and home values will absolutely NOT be respected under her instruction.
The photo graphic of this kindergarten teacher’s post says “I will say gay & I will protect trans kids.” Which is a reference to Florida’s Parental Rights Bill that states “instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Only a staunch activist would be opposed to such reasonable limitations pertaining to OTHER PEOPLE’S CHILDREN. In fact, a national poll conducted by the market research technology platform Lucid, found that out of 1000 people, 37% Democrat, 32% Republican, and 31% Independent, nearly two-thirds of Americans SUPPORT the key features of Florida’s Parental Rights Bill with 8/10 respondents believing parents should be driving these conversations with their children.
Additionally, the October 2021 Harvard CAPS/ Harris Poll revealed that 72% of Americans believe there are two genders and 62% do not believe people should be able to choose their gender or their pronouns. Point being, this isn’t just a few right wing religious nuts complaining about Calvert County schools… but rather a general consensus denouncing such ideologies as a teachers responsibility, particularly in early elementary.
As a general rule of thumb teachers act in loco parentis, which essentially means that teachers are expected to do what the parents of their students would do if they were there. This necessarily involves respecting the rights of parents and refraining from undermining parental authority. Courts have upheld parental rights beginning with Pierce vs. Society of Sisters (1925) all the way through Troxel vs. Granville (2000), firmly establishing the primacy of parents in who has the final say over the child’s development.
Gender ideology has caused harm and does plant seeds of confusion in our youth. In the last decade the prevalence of people identifying as transgendered in the West has increased by over 1000%. Female to male Trans has skyrocketed. The American Society for Plastic Surgery reported 46% of transitions were females in 2016, jumping to 70% only one year later. Please take some time to read detransitioning stories, it’s absolutely heartbreaking.
These classroom practices, ESPECIALLY within early elementary, violate the religious views of many, if not most, families. These topics should be addressed by parents through their own worldview or value system at a time they deem age appropriate.
Parents do not want activist teachers shaping their young child’s thoughts pertaining to gender or sexuality without their consent. It is not hate or bigotry to define value laden boundaries for your own family. We all do it. While public schools are not religious schools and hence do not read kindergarteners books advocating a particular religion’s belief systems, it’s of equal importance to understand that religious families exist as stakeholders in this public system and to avoid intentionally subverting their values when a simple “not all families look the same” would suffice.
This isn’t necessarily representative of families in the classroom so much as the deliberate introduction of gender ideology to 5 year olds.
Adults absolutely have the right to live their life as they see fit, in no way is this an attack on the lifestyle of LGBTQ adults or even necessarily teens who may identify on the spectrum. This is everything to do with a parent’s right to shape their own children during their most formative years. Bonnie Kerrigan Snyder in her book, Undoctrinate, sums it up succinctly “being a K-12 educator is a noble, necessary endeavor in its own right, without needing to be elevated or inflated into something different, apologized for, or expanded beyond recognition.
Done right, the proper cultivation of young minds remains one of the most rewarding jobs there is; done wrong, the potential damage to individuals and to society is incalculable.”
Despite polling which reveals an overwhelming distaste for activism in the classroom, parents and politically moderate teachers have remained mostly silent. The individuals pushing much of this classroom activism are aggressive and intolerant of other belief systems. Our most significant response will come at the election polls!
There are two Board of Education seats open, primaries will be held July 19th and election day is Tuesday, November 8th. Let’s vote for the candidates who support parental rights, apolitical classrooms, and diversity of thought!
For information on candidates contact www.CalvertParentsForEducation.org or Power2Parent Maryland.