Boardman, appointed by President Joe Biden, denied the injunction on Aug. 24. This court decision comes just around a year after the Montgomery County Board of Education officially adopted over 20 pro-LGBT books for students from pre-K through eighth grade. (Related: Books on gender transitioning recommended to kindergartners in Newsom's California.)
Parents were initially able to opt their children out of hearing these books being read. However, earlier this year, the school board decided to remove this option, sparking outrage from parents from a variety of faiths, including Muslims and Christians of different backgrounds, including Catholics and Eastern Orthodox.
These parents note that all they wanted was to shield their children from LGBTQ+ ideologies at such a young age. This collective outrage then fueled the desire of the parents to file a lawsuit.
The parents argued that the "no opt-out" policy, which forbids parents from excusing their children from lessons on transgenderism, gender identity, and other pro-LGBTQ narratives, violated their First Amendment rights to free exercise and free speech, as well as their 14th Amendment rights.
However, Boardman denied the request and argued that the parents had not provided sufficient evidence of the potential for indoctrination despite the claims that these materials are objectionable and could lead to indoctrination. Boardman further reasoned that the school-mandated LGBTQ curriculum did not conflict with the freedom of the parents to practice their religions, but the Supreme Court declared otherwise.
"Even if their children's exposure to religiously offensive ideas makes the parents’ efforts less likely to succeed, that does not amount to a government-imposed burden on their religious exercise," Boardman stated.
The decision of Boardman reignited the ongoing debate surrounding the introduction of contentious subjects in public education. Even before the ruling, a group of parents already rallied outside the District of Maryland Courthouse in Greenbelt to voice their opposition.
Wael Elkoshairi, a Montgomery County parent and spokesman for the local organization Family Rights for Religious Freedom, addressed the gathering during the rally. "You are the voice of those who have no voice," Elkoshairi stated.
Parents believe that these discussions should be left to parents to address at home based on their personal beliefs and values. They argue that schools should not be imposing these topics on young children without parental consent. This sentiment is also reflected in their lawsuit and is backed by Professor Helen Alvaré, from George Mason University's Scalia School of Law.
In a legal analysis, she said teaching about "family relationships" is integral to the process of instilling and passing on religious beliefs. Anything that interferes with this process encroaches upon the liberty and exercise of parental rights.
She then brought up the precedents of the Supreme Court that public schools are not authorized to intervene in a child's upbringing or religious education by enforcing compulsory education aimed at influencing the child's religious beliefs.
"In fact, the Court has recently reaffirmed the enduring American tradition that emphasizes the rights of parents to guide their children's religious upbringing. Judge Boardman's efforts to distinguish these cases have been criticized as lacking substance," as quoted by The Federalist.
Given that the parents know their rights, they are set for another pushback. The parents in opposition are set to appeal against the ruling at the Fourth Circuit.
Read more news about gender issues in the United States at Gender.news.
Watch this video as Gabe Zolna of the "Zolna Report" reacts to the news that New Jersey students will be taught about gender identity in schools.