Montgomery County Parents Want Out of Lessons with LGBTQ+ Books

Parents can no longer stop their kids from reading LGBTQ+ books in Montgomery County. The decision has sparked debate regarding parental rights in education.

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Should parents be able to opt out of school lessons for their children? In most cases, parents don’t try to exempt their children from any classes in particular. But in the case of parents in Montgomery County, when it comes to LGBTQ+ books, they want a way to take their children out of those classes. Here’s what we know so far about the attempts of parents to stop their children from reading LGBTQ+ books.

What Happened in Montgomery County?

In March of 2023, the Montgomery County school district released a document and emailed parents explaining what teachers share about LGBTQ+ people. In previous years, parents could opt out their students from such experiences. But next year will be different. Every grade school level, from kindergarten to fifth grade, now has specifically required readings that are LGBTQ+ focused. Some titles include Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack and The Stonewall Riots by Gayle Pitman. The full list includes 14 books divided by grade level and with short summaries.


The specific class at the school about “family life and human sexuality” is different, however. It has been, and still is, something parents can opt out of for their children. This is mandatory by Maryland state law. But reading LGBTQ+ books is no longer something they may influence and not something covered by state law.

How did Parents Respond?

Parents were not excited to get the news about mandatory LGBTQ+ readings. Especially for Muslim and Ethiopian Orthodox parents. They argued the claims went against their rights to religious freedom. So much so that over 500 people gathered in protest recently, demanding that opt-out options be restored for anything related to LGBTQ+ themes.

It’s a battle that’s raged since March, and three families even filed lawsuits in May. They originally protested in May with around 100 participants, but outcries have grown since then. Some parents claim it’s not really about LGBTQ+ issues. Instead, they say it’s about the right of parents to choose what their children learn.

To combat the backlash, counter-protests have started in support of LGBTQ+ books in the curriculum.

What Organizations influenced Montgomery County?

The parent protesters aren’t alone. Organizations such as the Coalition of Virtue organized a march against the opt-out removal.


Conversely, the Rainbow Defense Coalition stands with Montgomery County School. The organization is devoted to protecting children and queer people. They’ve previously defended Drag Story Hours and reach out to all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community.

Has the Montgomery County School Responded?

These protests are an ongoing issue, and as of right now, no resolution has been reached. Currently, Montgomery County School continues to stand by its policy of having all students read LGBTQ+ books.

Protesters will not back down, however. Until the school district makes a new decision, they promised to keep protesting.

Want more book news? Check out this article on banned books.