The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will be holding a public meeting to discuss new policies affecting Maryland public schools and LGBTQ students. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 22nd from 9 to 11 am at 200 West Baltimore Street in Baltimore.
The proposed regulation will also require local school systems to develop educational equity policy and regulations, which are designed to create and maintain environments that are equitable, fair, safe, diverse and inclusive and to require that an “equity lens” be used in reviews of staff, curriculum, and instructional materials. This regulation will provide an opportunity to hold local districts accountable for ensuring they create and maintain safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth.
The second proposed regulation, “Program in Comprehensive Health Education,” is an opportunity to ensure comprehensive, LGBTQ-inclusive, medically accurate sex education. Perhaps the most important part of this proposed regulation is found in the instructional programs for grades prekindergarten to 12, which states the following: “Maryland family life and human sexuality instruction shall represent all students regardless of ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.” Other important additions include contraception and condoms being taught in grade seven, as well as all STIs, family life, and human sexuality instruction shall begin before grade five. Families will however be able to opt out, and teachers will need additional qualifications to teach family life and sexuality.
While the meeting is open to the public, the public comment period has already closed. The Maryland State Board of Education will discuss and make decisions on the regulations, which may include the passage of amendments.
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