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A Maryland school district will be introducing LGBTQ+ focused books into their curriculum. The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) revealed a list of books for youngsters in grades pre-kindergarten to fifth grade. These books will be provided to the students in order to “reduce stigmatization and marginalization of transgender and gender nonconforming students.”

This list was a part of a presentation shown to teachers from MCPS during a professional development workshop about “Building Community with LGBTQ+ Affirming Picture Books.” These teachers have been instructed to use five of the books on the list by December.

“All students deserve to see themselves in their school and classroom, including students who identify as LGBTQ+ and come from LGBTQ+ headed families and have family members that are a part of the LGBTQ+ community,” the presentation read according to The New York Post.

“There are no planned explicit lessons related to gender and sexuality, but these books do mean that LGBTQ+ identities will be made visible. Inclusive curricula support a student’s ability to empathize, connect, and collaborate with a diverse group of peers, and encourage respect for all.”

 

Each Grade Has Assigned Readings

The readings teach them vocabulary like intersex, drag queen, cis-gender, non-binary, pansexual, transgender, and queer. The book recommended for pre-kindergarteners is Pride Puppy, a book about finding a puppy who got lost during a pride parade.

“This rhyming alphabet book tells a lively story, with rich, colorful illustrations that will have readers poring over every detail as they spot items starting with each of the letters of the alphabet,” read the description. “An affirming and inclusive book that offers a joyful glimpse of a Pride parade and the vibrant community that celebrates this day each year.”

Other books include Uncle Bobby’s Wedding for kindergarten students, Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All for first graders, My Rainbow for second graders, Prince & Knight for third graders, Love, Violet for fourth graders and Born Ready for fifth graders.

 

The Books Aren’t Mandatory For Teachers

The MCPS made it clear that it isn’t mandatory for the books to be used by the teachers. The readings also won’t be used until parents are notified. The teachers also have been given a resource guide with sample responses of what to say to parents who don’t want their children reading these books.

“MCPS is committed to ensuring all students and their families see themselves in the curriculum to cultivate an inclusive and welcoming learning environment,” the school district continued.

“These books are not mandatory. These books are on the approved list of supplemental materials schools will have access to that align with our goal of providing more inclusive texts and resources in support of curriculum standards. As is our standard practice, these materials are not scheduled for use until system-wide communication has been sent to families.”

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