Commonwealth Policy Center

A federal court ruled that parents in Montgomery County, Maryland cannot opt out their children from LGBT curriculum in public schools. The parents tried to reinstate a school district policy for a religious exemption for elementary schoolers from reading books with LGBT characters. The judge said in his ruling that “opting out of a public-school curriculum that conflicts with their religious views is not a fundamental right.” Schools have long acted in loco parentis: in the place of parents, but they can never replace a mother and father as the first educators and guardians of children. Our legal system must respect both the primary authorities in a child’s life—parents—and the First Amendment, which protects freedom of religion.