Maryland lawmakers launch initiative to mandate LGBT, Disabled civil rights in curriculum

SALISBURY, Md. – LGBT and Disabled civil rights history could soon become part of Maryland’s history curriculum. A letter signed by 35 delegates and 13 state senators signed was sent to Superintendent of Maryland Schools Karen Salmon on this summer in hopes of adding more groups of people to the history books.

“It teaches them a way for acceptance, not only on a personal level, but through curriculum, and maybe teaching them things they may not have known about the LGBT community,” said Mark DeLancey, the president of the board of PFlag.

Regardless, there are some who worry about the addition.

“That’s something personal. That’s something that you should be discussing at home,” said Dannelle Mann, the founder of Wicomico Parents Representing Parents.

Mann says lumping the disabled and LGBT communities together is wrong, that they should be separate issues, adding that society is are over-sexualizing children.

We spoke with one Salisbury resident who teaches at Salisbury University. She says Maryland should consider giving parents and students a choice.

“I’m thinking more of implementing it in a way that would be a choice, like an extra curricular that students could take, rather than a forced general education requirement,” said Miranda Canter.

Mann says she would be open to the idea, saying at least it gives people a choice.

“If you are going to do it, make it an elective so they can choose. Don’t take our choices away.”

But there are still areas of concern for advocates, including who would be enforcing the curriculum and what role models would be included.

“What exactly does this teach, what are they teaching, what role models are they bringing into the curriculum,” DeLancey said. “How, where, when and why is all this going to unfold.”

In the letter, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in Manhattan this year was mentioned, sparking the modern LGBT rights movement.

It goes on to say,”surely, half a century later, we can find room in our social studies curriculum to ensure that we are teaching the complete story or America.”

We reached out to the eastern shore delegation about this issue, we received an answer from one delegate who says they did not know of the initiative and will be looking into it further.

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