Muslim-Led Coalition Protests in Montgomery County Against LGBT Books in Schools (VIDEO)

Screenshot: Ford Fischer/Twitter

On Tuesday, a Muslim-led coalition protested at the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) building to express their frustrations with a new policy that eliminates parental rights to restrict their children’s exposure to materials that discuss sexual orientation and gender identity.

Montgomery County recently approved a list of LGBTQ+ inclusive books to be used in classrooms, including books suitable for pre-kindergarten students. The policy stipulates that students and their families cannot opt out of engaging with these instructional materials, FOX 5 reported.

Chanting “Protect our children!” the coalition claimed that it infringes upon parental rights. They believe that while it may be acceptable to introduce these books into the curriculum, parents should have the ability to decide what their child is exposed to.

“These things should not even happen. We should all talk to one another, love one another, respect one another. It shouldn’t be up to a school system to force one belief over another or tell some people what to believe and what not to believe,” said Hisham Garti, Outreach Director of the Montgomery County Muslim Council.


FOX 5 reported:

Two weeks ago, a group of Muslim and Christian parents filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the “no opt-out” policy violates the constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion. The lawsuit highlights books such as “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding,” which tells the story of a young girl’s uncle marrying his boyfriend, and “Pride Puppy,” which invites three- to four-year-olds to find things they may see at a Pride parade, including drag kings or queens, leather, and underwear.

During Tuesday’s meeting, board members listened to advocates from both sides of the issue. Meanwhile, outside the building, parents and community members protested but also took the time to listen to each other’s perspectives.

“Look, we aren’t that different, right? We’re more alike than we are different, but we have to respect each other’s differences,” said Laura Mitchell, a grandmother of an MCPS student. “I feel that everyone has the right to see that people are different from a very young age because they are aware and they do see it. Look back to school night; families come in with two fathers or two mothers.”

No official decision or change in board policy was made during Tuesday’s meeting; the board members simply listened to the community.

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