Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), one of the largest public school districts in the Washington, D.C. area, held an LGBTQ virtual town hall to discuss LGBTQ activism in high schools. MCPS announced it will pilot a one-year program that will include LGBTQ-friendly curriculum in various subjects, such as social studies, mathematics, and science.
During this event, MCPS director of student welfare and compliance Greg Edmundson applauded the county’s efforts to be more inclusive of the LGBTQ community. He emphasized that the system’s goal is for all students to be able to “see” themselves in the curriculum taught in schools, which included LGBTQ-friendly curriculum. Edmundson proudly declared that MCPS was one of the first districts to allow students to enroll as non-binary, or without a male or female gender identifier.
He also mentioned that MCPS has been active in encouraging Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) sponsors to become “active and involved in every one of our secondary schools.” Student welfare liaisons have been assigned to each school, but Edmundson did not elaborate on what their job responsibilities and duties entail. Most likely, these liaisons would be involved in LGBTQ activism.
All participants had their name listed on the Zoom videoconference and included their preferred gender pronouns, such as “she, her, they” or “he, him, his.”
Other county education officials presented in the virtual town hall, and a common refrain was, “We are excited” for MCPS be more inclusive with the LGBTQ community. Montgomery County Council member Evan Glass, a vocal supporter of LGBTQ-friendly policies, praised the county’s school board for agreeing to pilot the one-year program. Glass said, “I look forward to its success and its expansion in the future.”
Another MCPS official, Troy Boddy, had an LGBTQ pride flag in the background of his video presentation during the virtual town hall. Boddy is the MCPS director for the Equity Initiatives Unit and previously worked on hate bias protocols and other similar initiatives. Boddy praised the fact that his office worked with the community to create “leaning opportunities” and modules to build staff awareness to help them “respond to diversity in our schools.” The goal of his office is to help all students feel included, no matter what their gender identity is.
The town hall also featured a GSA sponsor Elizabeth Fuhrman, who said that their goal as sponsors is to “provide opportunities” for students to raise awareness or create social groups for LGBTQ students. Typically, these groups meet during lunch time and work on projects that coincide with LGBTQ-friendly celebrations such as “No Name Calling Week” in January and “National Coming Out Day.”
The virtual town hall included a slide presentation on the history of LGBTQ community in the U.S., featuring figures such as Harvey Milk and the gay pride flag artist Gilbert Baker.
Montgomery County is one of the most liberal and left-leaning counties in the state of Maryland. It has not elected a Republican county executive since 1978, a period of forty-two years. MCPS serves over 160,000 students and has 31 high schools throughout the county.
It came as no surprise that the county system chose to promote LGBTQ activism in its high schools, but it is a worrisome trend if it trickles down to middle schools and elementary schools. This development should concern parents around the country because this shift in public education could set a precedent for other public school systems to follow suit. Unelected bureaucrats in public education have consistently kowtowed to left-wing activists while avoiding accountability to taxpayers and parents who they supposedly serve.