Warding off persistent attacks from antigay groups, Lambda Legal has helped protect a medically accurate health curriculum that includes the facts on sexual orientation for 8th and 10th graders in Montgomery County, Maryland.
During the summer of 2007, the Montgomery County School Board voted to implement the curriculum for the upcoming school year. The lessons had been field tested in several schools and received the recommendation of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Family Life and Development.
But opposing groups Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays, and Family Leader Network challenged the curriculum at the local level. When they lost, they appealed the decision to implement it to the Maryland State Board of Education, which also ruled against them. The opposition groups then appealed that decision to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, which last Friday upheld the school system’s position.
Lambda Legal represented Metro DC PFLAG in support of the Montgomery County schools’ curriculum.
Local co-counsel Jonathan Frankel, a partner in the firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, helped on the case. As a lawyer he was pleased with the outcome of the case. “But as a parent in Montgomery County,” he says, “I am even happier that our local school board can follow through on its strong commitment to treat all students with respect and build a culture of tolerance.”