An interfaith group of Montgomery County parents was in U.S. Federal Court today challenging a new county Board of Education policy calling for children’s indoctrination in radical sexual and gender ideology. According to the advocacy group Kids 1st, the policy “forces children K-12 to read controversial books that promote a one-sided transgender ideology, encourage gender transitioning, and focus excessively on romance.” And here’s the kicker — with no parental notification or opportunity to opt out.

In other words, forcing children to hear and absorb ideologies in direct violation of their faith. With their parents having no say. 

The case is Mahmoud v. McKnight, with the parents arguing the Board of Education is violating their 1st and 14th Amendment rights, and must restore their opt-out rights.

In response to the lawsuit filed in May, a Montgomery County council member Kristin Mink said Muslim families who want to opt-out are “on the same side as white supremacists.”

Before the 10 a.m. oral arguments, concerned parents gathered for a rally across the street from the courthouse. Muslims, Catholics, Protestants. All races. All ages. They certainly didn’t look or sound like white supremacists. Just beautiful people of faith concerned for their kids.

A multi-faith rally held August 9, 2023 ahead of oral arguments in Mahmoud v. McKnight.

A Rally to Declare “Let Kids Be Kids”

 Their message wasn’t that complicated: “Let Kids Be Kids.” “Let Parents Parent.” 

Ryan Colby of Becket Law, which is handling the legal case, ran through several of the graphic lessons pushed on kids, hitting hard on the inappropriateness of the curriculum’s emphasis on “children’s romantic feelings.” He was echoed by Asma Uddin of the Aspen Institute. 

Kids 1st Board Member Grace Morrison noted how the price the county demands for families attending public school is “not only our taxes, but our religious freedom.” 

Wael Elkoshairi, a Montgomery County parent and spokesman for the Family Rights for Religious Freedom, dismissed the idea that teachers are qualified to discuss these matters. “Are you going to teach them the tenets of the Bible, the tenets of the Koran? You think they [teachers] could handle that?” 

Elkoshairi also encouraged the gathered parents: “You are the voice of the pre-K child. You are the voice of the kindergartner. You are the voice of those who have no voice.” 

No Crazies. But Still Counter-Protesters

The attendees then moved across the street to the courthouse. There they were met by supporters of the new, radical Montgomery County policy. Thankfully, these were not the crazies who have appeared at similar rallies across the country only to cause havoc. No yelling. No insults. No assaults. Instead mothers sitting in the courthouse plaza surrounded in a circle by their long haired, rainbow tie-dyed kids, reading them children’s books. An adorable girl about three clutching a rainbow-painted teddy bear. 

Across the plaza sat and played the children of those on hand for the hearing. Lovely, wide-eyed kids mostly of Ethiopian descent circling mothers with their heads covered as required by their faith. 

As I watched the two groups of kids, my head was shaking, and I couldn’t stop the shaking. Why on earth would anybody want to force sexuality onto these innocent souls? Why drop the emotional bomb of gender ideology … that your sex was a “choice” your parents and a doctor made when you were born … onto these precious minds and hearts? 

The case of Mahmound v. McKnight will be decided as a matter of law. And Becket is confident law and precedent are on their side. Parents in Montgomery County will regain the right to opt-out.

But what of the larger cultural battle for our kids? For their innocence? For their faith? 

That continues. 


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream, chief barista for The Brew and co-author, with John Zmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl at GETTRGabParler, and now at TRUTH Social.

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