Public School Shakedown: Parents Slapped with $18K Record Access Fee!

Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland are placing a hefty price tag on parental rights. Parents Defending Education (PDE), a group dedicated to protecting parents’ rights, submitted a public records request to the school district regarding its opt-out policy for lessons on sex and gender. The school system had previously allowed families to opt-out, but recently changed its tune. PDE’s president, Nicki Neily, requested all records related to the terms “opt-in” and “opt-out” from 30 email addresses associated with the school district. However, the school system’s communications director, Christopher Cram, fired back with a response that was neither welcoming nor accommodating. He informed Neily that her request was too broad and would cost a whopping $18,290.96 and take until October to fulfill. Talk about transparency and accountability!

Neily expressed her frustration with the school system’s dismissive attitude, emphasizing how such behavior erodes trust between families and the education system. Why should parents be met with disdain and condescension when they simply want to know what their children are being taught? It seems that Montgomery County Public Schools would rather hide behind a wall of secrecy than be open and honest with the families they serve. Neily has a point: graphic sex acts hidden in children’s books are deemed acceptable while requests for transparency are met with resistance.

This news comes on the heels of another troubling development in the Montgomery County school district. Just recently, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that three parents in the district had no right to challenge a policy that kept them in the dark about their children’s gender identity. Why? Well, it turns out the parents hadn’t alleged that their children were transgender or struggling with gender identity. According to the court, without this specific allegation, the parents couldn’t demonstrate the “type of injury required to show standing.” In other words, the court dismissed their objections because of a lack of standing.

It’s absurd to suggest that parents should only have a say in their children’s education once damage has already been done in secret. Frederick Claybrook, a lawyer for the parents, rightly stated, “Parents do not have to wait until they find out that damage has been done in secret before they may complain.” The parents may not have alleged a specific injury, but they certainly have the right to question and voice their concerns about what’s being taught to their children. This dismissive attitude towards parental rights is just another example of the growing infringement on individual liberties in the education system. It’s time for parents to reclaim their rightful role as primary educators and decision-makers for their children.

Written by Staff Reports

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