Board of Education Carroll Report Uncategorized

Carroll County Targeted in State Bill Requiring Gender Identity Education

Misinformation is spread by the Maryland superintendent as he makes case for gender identity education starting at pre-K.

Recently the Maryland State Senate heard supporting arguments from State Senator Clarence Lam (D) and superintendent Mohammed Choudhury, both sporting masks, regarding senate bill SB199, which would require local school jurisdictions to teach gender identity education starting at pre-K and follow the Maryland State Health Education Framework.  

Full video of the senate hearing for SB199.

In Senator Lam’s opening statements to the Education, Energy, Environment and Elections subcommittee, he expressed “concerns about counties beginning to move away from the comprehensive framework”.  

Superintendent Choudhury later explained the bill was in response to actions taken by Carroll County last year to adopt their own version of the framework that removed the gender identity topics from elementary and middle school curriculum.  

“Carroll County, the board of education, had a family life committee, where families wanted to opt-out and write a whole new set of teaching expectations on how to teach health education…What they did want to do though is wipe out some aspects of the framework and not even talk about it.”

Carroll County Public Schools initially planned to adopt their local version of the framework wholesale, but were instead forced to offer it as an alternative to the state-mandated, gendered version.

When asked by Senator Jason Gallion (R) how many counties MSDE considered in compliance with the framework, Choudhury responded “I think everyone was in compliance and going fine until COVID and we decided to tear each other apart over this topic…Everyone was compliant and now all of a sudden districts are struggling because they are getting sucked up into this debate and as I said we worked with Carroll County to be able to talk about and show how two worlds can harmoniously work together.  Everyone can model after that if they choose to.”

It’s not clear which “two worlds” Choudhury was referring to in his statement, but it’s suspected he was comparing the world based on a two-gender, biological reality vs. gender identity theory which claims there are over 72 different genders.

The senate bill has been cross-filed with house bill HB119, which was also presented to the Ways and Means subcommittee on February 1st.

A dissenting Carroll County resident speaks at the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee on February 1st in support of mandating the state framework containing gender identity topics starting at pre-K.

Lam and Choudhury Peddle Misinformation 

A major focus of Lam’s and Choudhury’s presentation was to address the misinformation being spread about the bill, but in doing so seemed to participate in their own misinformation peddling.

For example, superintendent Choudhury claimed that the Maryland Health Education Framework, specifically the gender identity guidance, was based on national standards that are “nationally benchmarked around health education”.  However, the 8 core standards in the bill clearly deviate from the CDC national standards on health education, which are already codified into Maryland law.

Choudhury continued on to say “The standards are very important because otherwise we’re opening things up…you might as well do that with literacy, math and other things as well.”  However, Senator Ron Watson (D) disagreed.  “You can’t put literacy and those types of things in this category.  This is very specific and I’m addressing the elephant in the room.”

The superintendent also made it a point to say “this is not a curriculum bill, this is a framework” in response to parent concerns that the bill mandates gender identity curriculum.  However, the framework is intended to drive the standards by which education systems are to develop their curriculum.  

Senator Lam falsely claimed the bill “enshrined parental rights” and ensured local jurisdictions would have authority over their local health education programs, but the bill actually erodes local educational control and forces communities like Carroll County to comply with the controversial  gender identity education.

Senator Gallium expressed his concerns with the kindergarten-level gender identity segment of the framework.  “I have a kindergartener, I want my kids to learn that stuff at home.  That’s a major concern.”  In a brazen attempt to deceive the committee, Lam responded that the framework “does not introduce those types of elements prior to the 5th grade”.

The gender identity expression framework guidance.  From left to right, pre-K, kindergarten and 1st grade.

In another exchange, Gallion asked Choudhury if the reduced public school enrollment since COVID could be partly attributed to the contentious gender identity topic in schools.  Choudhury responded, “Maryland was one of the last states to reopen.  If you want to blame an enrollment disruption it’s because we took a long time to reopen.  Those are the facts.  We were third from the bottom.  And that’s fine, those are the decisions that were made.  I was not here.” 

While it’s true Choudhury’s tenure started July 2021 when most school systems had already reopened, he certainly had involvement in the forced masking policies that continued thru March 2022 and drove many families out of the public school system.

What can you do?

Citizens concerned with bills HB119 and SB199 can contact members of the House Ways and Means and the Senate Education, Energy and Environment Committees.   

MD House Ways and Means Committee –

MD Senate Education, Energy and Environment Committee –

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