The County Council has the power to influence curricular representation.
March 31, 2022 -- On this International Transgender Day of Visibility, I am calling on MCPS and the County Council to ensure the inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, and other LGBTQ+ people in our school curricula.
Students, parents, and teachers consistently report a lack of LGBTQ+ representation in curricula across grade levels. This is not surprising, because our curriculum is purchased from companies that market and sell materials nationally, including in areas that are hostile to the LGBTQ+ community.
We have invested millions of dollars in a curriculum that largely erases the LGBTQ+ community. And now, it will take some effort and investment by MCPS to fix it.
As a former MCPS teacher and the parent of an MCPS kindergartener, it is with great interest that I have participated in conversations with the MCPS PRIDE ALLiance and the MCPS Curriculum Department about the lack of LGBTQ+ representation in our school curricula.
I am heartened that members of the Curriculum Department have participated in these meetings with the PRIDE ALLiance, and verbally committed to adding at least one intentional, LGBTQ-inclusive lesson per grade per year for kindergarten through fifth grade, with implementation beginning as soon as the coming school year. After many years of advocacy by parents and students, this is a welcome first step in the right direction.
The County Council can help move this work forward by requesting a report from the Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) on LGBTQ+ inclusion in the MCPS curriculum, in all subject areas and across all grades. This will provide clear and concrete data about where the holes are, and a mandate to fill them.
We are a community that values inclusion and diversity. We must continue the work to ensure those values are reflected in our schools.