School district charging parents group insane price for open records request: ‘Outrageous attempt to discourage oversight’

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is charging a group that advocates for parental rights a scandalous $18,290.26 to fulfill a request for public records after it informed parents that the district won’t allow them to opt their children out of its gender and sexuality curriculum.

Parents Defending Education, “a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas,” sought from MCPS via the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA)  all records in the district’s possession “that contain the terms ‘opt-out’ and/or ‘opt out'” from a 30-name list of MCPS email addresses.

MCPS communications director Christopher C. Cram replied to the organization’s founder and president, Nicole Neily, and informed her that “Maryland law allows a government unit to recover actual costs incurred to search and prepare records for inspection for any time beyond the first two hours.”

Cram estimated that it would take a “communications specialist” at the MCPS 440 hours to fulfill the request “at an hourly rate of $41.11.” Additionally, an attorney in the Office of General Counsel would need three hours to complete the task, “at an hourly rate of $67.52.”

Neily responded to Cram’s letter on X, calling it “an outrageous attempt to discourage oversight.”

“In Montgomery County Public Schools, ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ are dirty words, but the graphic sex acts that parents object to in their children’s books is completely acceptable,” Neily said in a statement, according to Fox News Digital.

In March, Parents Defending Education reported, that MCPS parents received an email telling them they “may not choose to opt out of engaging with any instructional materials, other than ‘Family Life and Human Sexuality Unit of Instruction’ which is specifically permitted by Maryland law.”

“MCPS expects all classrooms to be inclusive and safe spaces for students, including those who identify as LGBTQ+ or have family members in the LGBTQ+ community. A broad representation of personal characteristics within curricular or instructional materials promotes this desired outcome,” the district stated. “Therefore, as with all curriculum resources, there is an expectation that teachers utilize these inclusive lessons and texts with all students.”

As BizPac Review reported in June, Muslim and Christian parents gathered outside MCPS headquarters to protest the opt-out ban amid a flurry of lawsuits alleging the policy is a violation of the First Amendment right to religious freedom.

(Video: YouTube)

On Thursday, a federal court in Maryland ruled in favor of MCPS, denying parents the right to keep their kids from having to read books containing LGTBQ content, Fox News Digital reports.

The parents’ “asserted due process right to direct their children’s upbringing by opting out of a public-school curriculum that conflicts with their religious views is not a fundamental right,” stated Judge Deborah L. Boardman, a Biden appointee.

Boardman also denied the parents’ request for a preliminary injunction that would have allowed them to opt their children out of the curriculum at the beginning of the school year on August 28.

“The LGBTQ books added to the district’s curriculum are included in pre-K through eighth-grade classrooms,” according to Fox News Digital, “and feature references to gay pride parades, gender transition and pronoun preference.”

“Talking about gender transition STARTING IN PRE-K is the very definition of grooming,” one X user told Neily in response to her post. “These people are sick sick sick.”


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