September 13 Rally in Downtown Frederick for Parents’ Rights Was a Tremendous Success

We had a terrific rally on Wednesday, with hundreds of parents and community members supporting parents’ rights and the need for changes in FCPS.

We heard from over a dozen speakers, including parents, students, faith leaders, community members, Moms for Liberty, candidates for the BOE, the Senate, the 6th district Congressional seats, and Transparency in Education. The topics included making academic proficiency the number one priority, the need to improve the poor academic performance results for FCPS, the need to shorten the plan that will take eight years to raise the proficiency level, school choice, spending/budget, the preservation of opt-out choices for parents, improving the transparency on things like curriculum content, and electing the right people to represent families and parents.

The primary focus of the night was the need to return to common sense, including the removal of the policy provision that allows boys to compete on girls’ interscholastic sports teams (which is already occurring in FCPS) and the provisions that allow bathroom, locker room, shower, and lodging choices to be made by a student’s self-declared gender. And of critical concern is the current provision that allows the school system to independently affirm and support a child’s non-conforming choice or transgender identity without notification or discussion with the parents if the school believes the parents would be non-supportive. FCPS has refused to clarify if they will do this even if a parent asks the school system to notify them. No school system should ever know more about the condition of a child’s mental health and critical choices than a child’s family.

We’ve found that most parents are unaware that these provisions exist or that these things are happening. Parents are equally unaware that policies 309 and 437 and regulation 400-48 all prohibit the bullying, intimidation, harassment, and discrimination of any protected class of students and staff, including the gender non-conforming and transgender. Additional policies require the discipline of any student who violates those policies. The provisions mentioned in the previous paragraph are extraordinary accommodations made uniquely to those choosing an alternative gender and were added in a special policy – 443 – years after 309, 413, and 400-48 were in place. We support 309, 437, and 400-48. We do not support the extra provisions, nor do the vast majority of Frederick County families we talk to and hear from.

We believe this is why, unfortunately, the Frederick Center continues spreading misinformation about our rally and our objectives. They attack to avoid discussing the merits of these extra provisions. And they are lying when they posted that we handed out brochures about transgender at the rally (someone did, but no one from Transparency or Moms for Liberty had any involvement), lying when they said we did not have permission to gather where we did; and lying when they state we have a history of anti-LGBQT activism and spout homophobic and trans-phobic sentiments. They also attack the sources of the data and science we present instead of discussing the data itself.

It seems ironic that a group so dedicated to opposing name-calling, bullying, and labeling would use these tactics themselves because they wish to discredit members of the community with whom they disagree.

We hope they reconsider and accept our offer to meet and discuss our respective positions.