Maryland education curriculum teaches gender, sexuality to pre-k kids

By seventh grade, students should be able to recognize "racism and intersectionality and describe their impacts on sexual health."

Updated: April 6, 2022 - 6:57pm

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The Maryland Department of Education's health curriculum states that children should learn about LGBT families and gender expression in preschool, and by seventh grade they should know about racism's effects on sexual health.

The health curriculum includes a "Family Life and Human Sexuality" section for all students, which includes subcategories such as "Healthy relationships and consent."

In Pre-K, children should recognize "that there are different types of families (e.g., singleparent, same-gender, intergenerational, blended, interracial, adoptive, foster, etc.)" according to the Maryland Comprehensive Health Education Framework.

Under the "Gender identity and expression" subcategory, children in preschool should learn to recognize "and respect that people express themselves in many different ways."

By kindergarten, students should recognize "a range of ways people identify and express their gender," according to the curriculum. The children should also realize "it is important to treat people of all gender identities and expressions with dignity and respect."

Students in fourth grade should be able to identify "sexual orientation as a person's physical and/or romantic attraction to an individual of the same and/or different gender," per the curriculum.

"Opt-out (not opt-in) is permitted for family life and human sexuality education starting in grade 4," the Maryland Department of Education states, adding that all "grade 4 and 5 content must be taught by the end of grade 5."

The curriculum is unclear as to whether parents can decide if their young children should receive family life and human sexuality education before fourth grade.

By seventh grade, students should be able to recognize "racism and intersectionality and describe their impacts on sexual health," according to the handout.

High school students should be able to identify "how systemic oppression and intersectionality impact the sexual health of
communities of color and other marginalized group," the curriculum states.

The state education department states that high schoolers should also analyze "ways systemic oppression and intersectionality impact the sexual agency of communities of color and other marginalized groups."

Spokesperson for former President Donald Trump Liz Harrington pointed out the curriculum on Twitter, and said it "teaches pre-k about having 'two moms' and kindergartners about 'expressing their gender.'"

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