Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Minneapolis Public Schools Let Muslims to Opt Out of LGBT Curriculum

'[A]s a queer person in a marginalized community, I would hope and expect solidarity. Muslim communities have been historically marginalized, and so have queer communities...'

(Molly BrunsHeadline USA) A public-school district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, opted to allow parents to receive notification of the discussion of LGBT materials in the classroom and, accordingly, to remove their children from the space.

Six Muslim families with children attending St. Louis Park public schools—with the assistance of two public-interest law firms—requested that teachers and administrators send out notice before reading and discussing LGBT books in class, according to Alpha News.

As with Islamic anti-Semitism, the religion’s attitudes toward homosexuality have created a point of discomfort within the American Left’s intersectional model of identity politics, which seeks to unite all except for white, Christian, English-speaking, heterosexual, biological males under the generic banner of diversity.

But the fight against child-grooming and indoctrination in the classroom has instead given members of the Islamic community common cause with social conservatives, who have become staunch champions in the parental rights movement.

True North Legal and First Liberty Institute, two conservative-leaning firms supporting religious freedom and family values, sent letters to the school threatening to sue the district for previously denying the parents’ attempts to pull their children out of classes discussing illicit subjects, claiming the denial was a violation of their First Amendment rights.

After the receiving the letter, St. Louis Park High School granted opt-out requests for students.

“We’re proud to have worked with these families and the St. Louis Park school district to ensure that their constitutional rights are protected,” Renee Carlson, general counsel of True North Legal. “Ensuring the religious freedom of students and their families is paramount, and infringing upon that right is unacceptable.”

All six of the families emigrated from Somalia over the last 20 years.

Parents attempted to pitch the opt-out option to the school board in October 2023 and faced shock, scorn and derision.

“I respect your religious beliefs, and also as a queer person in a marginalized community, I would hope and expect solidarity,” said school board member Sara Davis, who has a lesbian partner and two children, in a meeting in October 2023. “Muslim communities have been historically marginalized and so have queer communities.”

Davis also pointed out that teaching books on LGBT topics is part of the all-important Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, and that “urging children to engage with gender identity” is imperative.

“Limiting access for children to books is not going to protect them from the fact that I exist in this world and that my family exists in this world,” she said.

Despite Davis’s protestations, the district allowed the opt-out and teachers with LGBT books in their curriculum must notify concerned parents.

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