June 25, 2024

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June 25, 2024

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Federal Court Rules Parents Do Not Have The Right To Opt Children Out Of Gender And Sexuality Lessons

A federal court in Montgomery County, Maryland, has ruled that parents do not have the right to be notified when their children will be taught from books that address gender and sexuality. A group of parents, along with Becket Law, which advocates for religious liberty, plans to appeal the decision.

Currently, teachers can read books to children that include references to drag queens, pronoun preferences, and homosexuality. One of the books, Pride Puppy, is aimed at children as young as 3 and encourages kids to search for pictures in a word list that includes the terms “intersex flag,” “drag queen,” and “underwear.” Other books talk about romantic feelings in young children, and instruct teachers to tell students that doctors can only “guess” about a newborn’s gender.

Parents were able to opt their children out of such lessons until March of this year, when the Montgomery County school district banned that option. Maryland law requires schools to notify parents when classroom material will include teaching on family life and sexuality, but the school district claims that these lessons do not fall under that category.

Becket Law will represent a diverse group of parents, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, in the appeal. The case will now be fast-tracked to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Parents know and love their children best; that’s why all kids deserve to have their parents help them understand issues like gender identity and sexuality,” said Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “The school board’s decision to cut parents out of these discussions flies in the face of parental freedom, childhood innocence and basic human decency.”


Decision Magazine, founded by Billy Graham in 1960, works through its website and monthly magazine to communicate the Gospel, as well as inform and challenge readers about key cultural and Biblical issues.

Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?

The assertion that parents and state teachers share partial ownership over children caused Ken Ham, the founder of Answers In Genesis, to pen an important article titled, “Who Owns Children?”

“Who ‘owns’ the children—parents or the government? In our day and age, many involved in western government believe it’s the government that owns kids,” he described. “Many believe they know what is best for children and think they should get to dictate what children learn—and parents are just in the way of accomplishing the state’s goals.”

“And that shouldn’t surprise us because how you answer the question of ‘Who owns the children?’ depends on your starting point and the worldview you build that’s based on that starting point,” he explained.

“If you reject God and his Word, then anything goes—there’s no absolute standard on which to base your thinking. In this view, children are just biological machines, the product of millions of years of evolution. They aren’t given to parents—they are just a ‘choice’ parents made,” Ham continued. “But when we start with God’s Word, we learn that children are a gift from God—given to parents. He has given parents authority over their children and the responsibility of training, teaching, and raising children. They are not just “choices,” nor are they the government’s responsibility—children are parent’s responsibility because God gave children to their parents to train them up for him.”

“You see, the family unit didn’t evolve. God created the family when he created marriage (Genesis 1:27 and Gen. 2:24) and told the first couple to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28),” he underscored. “He entrusted children to parents to raise them in accord with the principles he has laid down for us in his Word (e.g., Psalm 127:3).”

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A federal court in Montgomery County, Maryland, has ruled that parents do not have the right to be notified when their children will be taught from books that address gender and sexuality. A group of parents, along with Becket Law, which advocates for religious liberty, plans to appeal the decision.

Currently, teachers can read books to children that include references to drag queens, pronoun preferences, and homosexuality. One of the books, Pride Puppy, is aimed at children as young as 3 and encourages kids to search for pictures in a word list that includes the terms “intersex flag,” “drag queen,” and “underwear.” Other books talk about romantic feelings in young children, and instruct teachers to tell students that doctors can only “guess” about a newborn’s gender.

Parents were able to opt their children out of such lessons until March of this year, when the Montgomery County school district banned that option. Maryland law requires schools to notify parents when classroom material will include teaching on family life and sexuality, but the school district claims that these lessons do not fall under that category.

Becket Law will represent a diverse group of parents, including Christians, Jews and Muslims, in the appeal. The case will now be fast-tracked to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Parents know and love their children best; that’s why all kids deserve to have their parents help them understand issues like gender identity and sexuality,” said Eric Baxter, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “The school board’s decision to cut parents out of these discussions flies in the face of parental freedom, childhood innocence and basic human decency.”


Decision Magazine, founded by Billy Graham in 1960, works through its website and monthly magazine to communicate the Gospel, as well as inform and challenge readers about key cultural and Biblical issues.

Editor’s Note: Why Is This News Biblically Relevant?

The assertion that parents and state teachers share partial ownership over children caused Ken Ham, the founder of Answers In Genesis, to pen an important article titled, “Who Owns Children?”

“Who ‘owns’ the children—parents or the government? In our day and age, many involved in western government believe it’s the government that owns kids,” he described. “Many believe they know what is best for children and think they should get to dictate what children learn—and parents are just in the way of accomplishing the state’s goals.”

“And that shouldn’t surprise us because how you answer the question of ‘Who owns the children?’ depends on your starting point and the worldview you build that’s based on that starting point,” he explained.

“If you reject God and his Word, then anything goes—there’s no absolute standard on which to base your thinking. In this view, children are just biological machines, the product of millions of years of evolution. They aren’t given to parents—they are just a ‘choice’ parents made,” Ham continued. “But when we start with God’s Word, we learn that children are a gift from God—given to parents. He has given parents authority over their children and the responsibility of training, teaching, and raising children. They are not just “choices,” nor are they the government’s responsibility—children are parent’s responsibility because God gave children to their parents to train them up for him.”

“You see, the family unit didn’t evolve. God created the family when he created marriage (Genesis 1:27 and Gen. 2:24) and told the first couple to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28),” he underscored. “He entrusted children to parents to raise them in accord with the principles he has laid down for us in his Word (e.g., Psalm 127:3).”