Sex ed curriculum opponents weigh in on Montgomery election

Groups warn that religious freedom is at stake in the nonpartisan school board election

Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006

Two groups that filed a federal lawsuit that led the Montgomery County school system to reconsider sex education lessons on homosexuality and condoms are urging residents to make their vote count on Tuesday or risk losing their religious freedom.

Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum and Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays sent e-mails on Monday urging voters to defeat liberal candidates for the nonpartisan county school board.

In 2005, the groups filed a federal lawsuit that led the school board to scrap revisions to the eighth- and 10th-grade health curriculum, which included a video demonstrating condom use and a discussion of homosexuality.

A settlement guaranteed the groups representation on a new advisory panel that is reviewing new curriculum revisions, which CRC says are even more unacceptable than what was thrown out.

‘‘We are very sorry to inform you that the new curriculum appears to be worse then the curriculum that was discarded,” the e-mail sent Monday said. ‘‘Though CRC does have a vote on the CAC, we are very much in the minority.

‘‘You can make a difference this time,” the e-mail said. ‘‘Write an email immediately to ten of your friends and send it. Get to the polls. A defeat of the liberal BOE candidates up for election will send a clear message to the Board of Education that parents will not tolerate the continuing attempts of their public school system to trample their values. Your rights as a parent to teach your children your values is quickly being destroyed by the pro-homosexual lobby in our public school system.”

The e-mail includes a link to CRC’s voters guide, which does not endorse specific candidates, but notes their views on homosexuality and the sex education curriculum.

The e-mail also included links to drafts of the 10th-grade curriculum and articles about sex education and religious rights in public schools.

‘‘Vote like your religious freedom depended on it,” the message said. ‘‘Because it does.”