Public Colleges in DC Suburb Tout Delight Month, ‘LGBTQ Tales’

An elementary faculty simply exterior the nation’s capital touted Homosexual Delight Month and outlined phrases reminiscent of “transgender” in a video despatched to college students. A center faculty in the identical faculty system shows pleasure flags and “LGBTQ+ tales” at school.

An area mother, who needs to stay nameless however whom The Day by day Sign will check with as Rebecca Martin, mentioned her two youngsters have been in second and fifth grade at Kensington Parkwood Elementary Faculty in suburban Maryland when the college distributed a video marking Delight Month on June 4, 2021.

“I couldn’t imagine what I used to be seeing. I used to be simply in absolute shock,” Martin mentioned.

Martin additionally witnessed rainbow-striped pleasure flags on show in one other son’s school rooms at North Bethesda Center Faculty on back-to-school evening final fall, she advised The Day by day Sign. 

The lone bulletin board in a single classroom was given over to what ornamental letters described as “LGBTQ tales,” she mentioned.

Each faculties attended by Martin’s youngsters are a part of Maryland’s extremely rated Montgomery County Public Colleges.

On the time it despatched out a video celebrating Delight Month, Martin mentioned, Kensington Parkwood Elementary used a hybrid studying mannequin due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin mentioned: College students attended class in individual some weeks and remotely throughout different weeks.  

Her fifth grade son was taking courses from dwelling the day the elementary faculty despatched out a weekly video hosted by media specialist Esther Girón. 

Within the video, Girón tells college students that “we’re celebrating Delight Month for LGBTQ+ individuals.”  

She goes on to share some “enjoyable information” about Delight Month, together with feeling-based definitions for an inventory of phrases reminiscent of gender, transgender, pleasure, homosexual, and lesbian.

Textual content from Kensington Parkwood Elementary’s KPTV video. 

Girón additionally highlights two LGBT activists: the late San Francisco elected official Harvey Milk, described as “one of many first overtly homosexual politicians in the USA,” and Laverne Cox, the transgender actor within the grownup Netflix collection “Orange Is the New Black.”

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Girón didn’t reply to The Day by day Sign’s emailed request for remark.

“I used to be in shock, and I used to be additionally pissed off and … angered,” Martin advised The Day by day Sign.

The terminology used within the video for the elementary faculty’s college students wasn’t appropriate, she added. “They have been complicated gender and biology.”

Martin mentioned she particularly was disturbed that her second grade daughter, in addition to different children as younger as kindergarten age, have been uncovered to this content material.

Martin mentioned her youngsters are the third technology within the household to be enrolled in Montgomery County Public Colleges, which is among the many most prosperous faculty districts within the nation.

“By no means, by no means … was something remotely like this taught,” she recalled. “And if it was, you needed to get parental permission.”

Martin mentioned she despatched an e-mail to Kensington Parkwood’s principal and vice principal the day she noticed the video on the college’s KPTV channel.

She requested to decide her youngsters out of future makes an attempt to push what she noticed as age-inappropriate materials on her children with out her consent, Martin mentioned. However she by no means received a response from the college.

“I don’t really feel, as a mum or dad, that is applicable for my baby,” Martin advised The Day by day Sign. “I felt … I had no energy over my very own children’ training.”

>>> Dad and mom, academics, and faculty directors with related considerations might e-mail this creator at [email protected]

Kensington Parkwood Elementary didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark by The Day by day Sign by publication time. 

This previous yr, Martin mentioned, she attended back-to-school evening at North Bethesda Center Faculty, the place her son has been enrolled for the previous two tutorial years. 

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A rainbow or transgender flag was on show in every of her son’s seven courses, she advised The Day by day Sign. Such “pleasure flags” held on the identical poles as American flags on the faculty. 

In a single classroom at Bethesda Center Faculty, Martin mentioned, the only bulletin board on the partitions featured what have been referred to as “LGBTQ tales.”

These pictures have been taken at North Bethesda Center Faculty throughout back-to-school evening.

The principal of North Bethesda Center Faculty, AnneMarie Kestner Smith, described her faculty’s LGBTQ-related insurance policies in an e-mail to The Day by day Sign.

“These usually are not matters in center faculty curriculum however is [sic] one thing college students are conscious of,” Smith wrote, including:

MPCS [Montgomery County Public Schools] takes pleasure within the degree of assist for each college students and workers that determine within the LGBTQIA+ group. We’ve welcoming, affirming faculties, school rooms, groups, and golf equipment. We worth all of our youngsters, youth, academics, workers, and fogeys.

In June, Smith emailed college students and fogeys to alert them to an incident throughout eighth grade lunch that she described as hateful towards the college’s “LGBTQ+ group.”

The principal wrote:

I used to be dissatisfied and dismayed to study that in eighth grade lunch on the primary day of PRIDE month some college students displayed hateful and threatening behaviors in direction of members of and allies of our LGBTQ+ group. One of these conduct, together with any hateful, racist, or bullying conduct is just not acceptable at North Bethesda Center Faculty.

The eighth grade administrator, counselor, and workforce chief created a protected house for college students impacted by this occasion throughout lunch at this time and proceed to be accessible to assist.

Smith added that she and different faculty directors would examine and “tackle the conduct with applicable penalties.”  

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It isn’t clear what the hateful conduct was, Martin advised The Day by day Sign. And what constitutes “hateful” for the principal isn’t essentially what many dad and mom would contemplate hateful, she mentioned.  

Montgomery County’s superintendent, Monifa B. McKnight, launched a ready assertion on “pupil gender identification” tips in September.  

“It’s important that each one [Montgomery County Public Schools] workers members acknowledge and respect issues of gender identification; make all cheap lodging in response to pupil requests concerning gender identification; and shield pupil privateness and confidentiality,” McKnight wrote.

The rules embody “Assist college students so they could take part at school life in step with their asserted gender identification, together with college students who determine as transgender or gender nonconforming,” and “Scale back stigmatization and marginalization of transgender and gender nonconforming college students.”

Martin advised The Day by day Sign that she has determined to decide her children out of most faculty actions when there may be the chance to take action.

“I simply don’t know what they’re going to be instructing,” she mentioned.

“The saddest factor is, my daughter has been behind in her studying since kindergarten … she’s [now] in fourth grade,” Martin added.

She mentioned Kensington Parkwood Elementary ought to be testing youngsters for studying disabilities and concentrating on elevating their studying means to grade degree.

“Their focus is … so off,” she mentioned.

The media workplace of Montgomery County Public Colleges didn’t reply to The Day by day Sign’s requests for remark.

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