Superintendent Says She’s Reserving Judgment On Proposed Changes To Health And Family Life Curriculum For Frederick County Schools

FCPS Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Dyson (Photo From Frederick County Public Schools)

She says she will fully read the new curriculum when it’s available.

Frederick, Md. (KM) – Doctor Cheryl Dyson took over as Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools just as officials are updating the health and family life curriculum to comply with the mandates coming down from the Maryland State Board of Education. That panel says local curricula should reflect a variety of sexual orientation and gender identities.

Dr.  Dyson says she will reserve judgment on the proposed changes to the curriculum.   “I have been looking at the health education. I feel like we are in a position–every local education agency–where we can determine what works best for us. We’ve have some curricular  writers working on that curriculum this summer. I have not read that curriculum just yet. But I will before we present anything to the committee on the public,” she said. “The committee” is the Family Life Advisory Committee.

The changes to the health and family life curriculum have  generated opposition among some parents, who feel it’s “age inappropriate” and resembles “grooming” of students. “I do not tolerate grooming of any child. It is inappropriate and it is wrong,” said Dr. Dyson. “We’re mandatory reporters. When we see something that is wrong and is causing harm to a child, we have to report that.”

Supporters of the changes say LGBTQ students face health disparities, and opponents’ arguments are based on homophobia.

“I do believe we do need to offer people options,” says Dr. Dyson. “When we’re ready to share that , I think parents should be given  options.”

School officials say when the curriculum is developed, parents will have the option to pull their kids out of the class if they feel it’s inappropriate for them.  .  . They will also have the option to review the instructional materials before allowing their children   to attend the new health and family life education classes.

By Kevin McManus