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After Forced Cancellation, Organizers Proceed with Forum on Parent Voices in School Curriculum on No

After Forced Cancellation, Organizers Proceed with Forum on Parent Voices in School Curriculum on November 9th in Howard County

Amid a staged protest by the Howard County Education Association and a campaign to cancel reservations at an initial venue, organizers are proceeding with a forum to highlight concerns that parents and educators have with current school curricula. The event will now be held at 6650 Santa Barbara Road, Elkridge, Maryland 21075

The forum features a stellar group of speakers–an educator (Mr. George Johnson), a retired educator (Ms. Sheila Jennifer), a former Board of Education member (Ms. Gordana Schifanelli), and a nationally renowned journalist/parents’ rights advocate from Loudoun County, Virginia (Ms. Asra Nomani). The event will also feature opening remarks by Dr. Antonio Campbell, a professor at Towson University.

The topic of this event is straightforward: What is the role of parents in discussions on curriculum in public schools? Issues like critical race theory and sexually-explicit materials in public schools are becoming of increasing concern to parents. And yet there remains little discussion on the concerns of parents about what their child learns in public schools. This forum aims at amplifying parent voices with public school administrators and elected Board of Education members.

Beth Lawson, a lead organizer of this forum, notes, “The forum attempts to shed light on an issue that has been much discussed in social media forums and at parents’ gatherings. The concerns of many parents of what sexual/reproductive health information is age-appropriate for their child and what constitutes sexually-explicit materials is of deep concern. It is also concerning that parents are being kept in the dark on the promulgation of critical race theory masked as mere discussions on race and history and “Social, and Emotional Learning.” Parents demand to know how their voices can matter in the development of school curriculum and in the education of their children.”

Another organizer, Rachael Siani, further stated, “This forum aims at ensuring that parents like myself have a voice in their child’s education and that their voice is not drowned out for individuals geared to advance a political philosophy or cause.”

Commenting on the staged protest by the Howard County Education Association [HCEA], Jeremy Watson noted, “At no point did the HCEA reach out to us about becoming a part of this event. And per my understanding, the HCEA has yet to organize a forum of their own to air out their grievances. Our event is titled “Do Parent Voices Matter?” The decision by a handful of dogmatic HCEA activists suggests that they would rather suppress discussion and silence parents than to actually engage in real dialogue.”

George Johnson – Baltimore County School teacher

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