Board of Education Carroll Report Uncategorized

Collaboration between Carroll County teachers and parents shows how public education in Maryland can return to common sense and academic excellence

Warning: Sexually explicit material is referenced in this article. 

After decades of school officials looking for ways to entice parents to be more involved in their children’s education, Carroll County Public Schools and a group of concerned moms may have found the secret to working together to bring academic excellence and common sense back to public education. 

Since May of this year, Jessica Garland, a local mom and Vice Chair for the Carroll County chapter of Moms for Liberty, led a small group of concerned moms in undertaking a daunting task to uncover several dozen books from school libraries containing vulgar and sexually explicit content.  The age-inappropriate materials have been submitted for reconsideration, where a committee of parents, teachers, media specialists and students will determine the fate of the books. 

One of the most extreme examples include “Let’s Talk About It”, which contains cartoon depictions of sexual acts.

A full list of age-inappropriate books submitted by the group for reconsideration can be found here.

Excerpts from “Let’s Talk About It” – Found in Liberty High School Media Center.  Parts of the image have been censored due to the sexually explicit content.

During last week’s board of education meeting, Garland, along with three other speakers, voiced their disgust and frustration at what they uncovered. After the impassioned speeches, both Superintendent Dr. Cindy McCabe and Board President Marsha Herbert expressed their gratitude to the women for bringing the situation to their attention.  

When asked by ICC what motivated her, Garland said, “When I go back to what really propelled me into the book project, I recall a group text chat that I was on with other concerned parents in various organizations throughout the state.  We were all commenting on the inappropriate books that were in our schools.  I asked, ‘how did this happen?’ to the group.  One of the moms responded, ‘We were asleep at the wheel. It felt like a punch in the gut.  Never again will I be complacent in the inner workings of the education system.  I will have a seat at the table from now on when it comes to the direction of my children and their education.”

At the meeting Dr. McCabe outlined the next steps that CCPS would be taking. In addition to the current process of reconsidering all the books submitted, school leaders will be reevaluating the process of how supplemental materials are accepted into the media centers and potential ways to implement accountability at the school level.  

According to Kit Hart, Carroll County Chair for Moms for Liberty, “This Board has shown that their priority reflects that of parents’: to provide the highest quality education possible in Carroll County Public Schools.  We are incredibly grateful to Superintendent McCabe and all of the members of the Board for consistently listening to the needs and concerns of parents. When we began revealing our findings to the public, parents were shocked and appalled with the content we shared. The Board humbly listened to the concerns and are dedicated to rectifying the situation.”

The outcome of last Wednesday’s BOE meeting should reassure the residents of Carroll County that the public school system under superintendent McCabe and this board remains committed to academic excellence. 

According to Carroll County Board of Education member Steve Whisler, he believes a partnership between the school system and parents is vital to student achievement and hopes to see it continue to flourish.  “This book, and books like these with pornographic content, should NEVER be in a public school library. I am so grateful for parents’ help in reviewing materials in our system. Our teachers and staff do everything they can for kids and they’re already overwhelmed with so many duties and often unable to read every single title that enters a library. Parents need to continue to stay engaged alongside educators”.

Comparing Carroll to Neighboring Counties

It’s clear that counties across the state have suffered abysmal reading and math test results due to the Maryland Department of Education’s continued focus on social justice and political indoctrination. Unlike jurisdictions that adopted the state policies wholesale, Carroll County has pushed back and remained steadfast in their commitment to a focus on academics.

In 2021 the Carroll County BOE voted to implement a political neutrality policy that would allow only the American, the state and the county flags to be affixed to school property.  The resulting policy restricted the display of political and social justice symbols such as the trans-pride or MAGA flags, thereby removing distractions and possibilities for division in the classroom while still leaving room for the freedom of expression for staff and students.

Last week the Anne Arundel County BOE attempted to implement a similar policy but failed in a 4-3 vote (which included the dissenting vote of their student representative).

Ahead of the vote at the AACPS Board of Education on the “Display of Flags” policy, supporters of the Flag Policy, and those against the policy, members of TAAAC, PASS, and GLSEN Maryland, rallied along Riva Road outside the AACPS Board of Education. Photo Credit: Jeffrey F. Bill/Capital Gazette

In Montgomery County, hundreds of parents gathered outside of a June school board meeting to protest a policy adopted by the school system in March that doesn’t allow parents to opt their students out of lessons on gender ideology and other topics labeled “inclusive”.  Many families argued the policy goes against their parental rights and religious freedom. Three families have filed a lawsuit against MCPS over some of the required materials.   

However, in Carroll County, parents are given a choice to enroll their children into gender ideology topics or can opt-out to a traditional family life curriculum created by the county.

Hundreds of protesters gather outside Montgomery County Board of Education. Photo credit Family Rights for Religious Freedom
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