District 7 Delegates: “The Assault on Parents’ Rights”

– The following article was submitted by Delegates Ryan Nawrocki & Kathy Szeliga (District 7A) and Lauren Arikan (District 7B)-

With less than three weeks left in the legislative session in Annapolis, one thing is clear, there is an assault on parents’ rights coming out of Annapolis.

The Maryland General Assembly meets for 90 days in Annapolis and this year’s session ends on April 10 at midnight. Fortunately, lawmakers are limited to three months and will not be back until January 2024. 

This year, lawmakers have passed bills attacking parental rights and refused to pass bills that protect your role in your child’s life. HB 119, County Boards of Education – Curriculum Guides and Courses of Study – Requirements, will require each county and Baltimore City to teach radical gender ideology to all children beginning at age 4 without any parental consent whatsoever. 

The Maryland State Board of Education, MSDE, had established policy guidelines requiring instruction in gender identity and sexual orientation throughout the health curriculum. 

While the guidelines say, “age-appropriate,” some counties are including books in pre-k and kindergarten about transgender children. They may be in your school too. The purpose of HB 119 is to punish any school district that does not teach these things by withholding 10% of its funding. 

We voted against this bill. Unfortunately, it passed with not even one Democrat voting against it. 

The libraries in our public schools and communities are carrying books aimed at middle school and high school students that are radical and even pornographic and some are in the curriculum. 
Gender Queer, Lawn Boy, and Heartstopper are examples of books encouraging children to be sexually active at a very young age and to embrace transgenderism.

Gender Queer is a graphic novel (comic book style) that has pedophilia images, including one of a naked adult man with a naked young boy (page 135), a 13-year-old girl saying,  “I started daydreaming about getting breast cancer thinking it would be the perfect excuse to have my breasts removed,” (page 38) and very graphic images of young people engaged in all kinds of sex acts. 

When we asked the CEO of Baltimore County Public Libraries, Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, if she knew that Gender Queer was in our libraries and not age-restricted, she said yes and that this promotion of pedophilia would stay! 

Many students in public and non-public schools are using an app called Epic!. Epic! is a free digital library for teachers and students. It has a search bar where children can access anything within its system. The Epic! library includes books for children as young as 4-years-old that introduce the topics of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

This software has been found in multiple parochial schools as well. Children in schools have been given open access with no restrictions to various books encouraging transgenderism to children as young as 4. 

As soon as a book on gender ideology is accessed, the list of suggested books that follow is also filled with gender ideology including attempts to transgender four-year-olds.

Another bill passed, HB 576, about school bullying that will make sure parents are NOT notified when their child is bullied unless the child agrees. 

If your child of any age is being bullied at School due to any type of gender issue, any notification to parents will be silenced. Every parent wants to know if their child is being bullied for any reason. No one in the school loves your child as much as you do and excluding parents is wrong. We voted against this bill but it passed out of the House. 

They could defeat it in the Senate. What can you do? Be vigilant about what your children and grandchildren are learning at school and in the library. Be extremely watchful about what they are exposed to on their devices and the internet. 

We recommend that you delete the TikTok app that exposes your children to baseless content and allows the Communist Chinese Party (CCP) to mine data on users and track their usage. The legislature is passing HB 1141 to ban TikTok from government devices because it’s dangerous. 

We voted for this bill. We are working with some parent groups to take action on the books in our schools and libraries and we will update you as our efforts evolve.

In the meantime, please keep your children and grandchildren close and make sure that you are involved in their education and extracurricular activities, and make sure they know your family values.

B.J. Joseph

Benjamin Joesph has covered news in Eastern Baltimore County since 2006. He started as a reporter with the original East County Times in 2006. He started East Baltco News and later Eastcountytimes.com in 2022.

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