Montgomery County, a largely liberal area of Maryland near Washington, D.C., plans to offer lessons on homosexuality this fall as part of its health education courses for 8th and 10th graders. The scripted, 45-minute lessons for each grade will be accompanied by a video that demonstrates how to put on a condom. Beginning with definitions of terms such as prejudice, homosexual and transgender, the lessons progress to address fears about discrimination and the stresses of coming out.
School officials aim to teach students about respect and tolerance for the diversity of sexual identity, presented as an innate aspect of one’s self and others. The curriculum was developed in consultation with the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Critics of the curriculum have filed lawsuits to stop the lessons, thus far unsuccessfully.