Maryland Attorney General Co-Leads Coalition in Multistate Amicus Brief Supporting Safety and Inclusion for LGBTQ+ Youth in Schools

Per the Maryland Attorney General’s Office: “Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown, with Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell, co-led a coalition of 19 Attorneys General in filing an amicus brief supporting a Maryland local board of education’s efforts to create a safe and supportive environment for LGTBQ+ children and all students. The Montgomery County Board of Education (MCBE) is facing a challenge to its policy that incorporates LGBTQ+-inclusive books into its language arts curriculum without allowing students to opt out. In the amicus brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Attorneys General reiterate the importance of providing safe and inclusive school environments for all children, and explain that policies such as MCBE’s do not raise constitutional or other concerns.

“Our schools play a fundamental role in shaping the minds and hearts of the next generation, and it’s our duty to ensure that every child feels safe, supported, and valued,” said Attorney General Brown. “Educational policies that promote respect for LGBTQ+ people will help build a more equitable future for all children.”

MCBE and its members, like other school authorities around the country, are charged with playing a critical role in one of the most important responsibilities of democratic self governance: nurturing successive generations of children on their path to becoming capable citizens. Courts have long afforded state and local governments significant discretion in how
they pursue this goal, so long as they act within the constraints of federal and state law.

In the current case, out of a concern that LGBTQ+ people were not adequately represented in the books children encounter in school, MCBE has chosen to incorporate a variety of LGBTQ+- inclusive books into its elementary school language arts curriculum. MCBE does not permit students to opt out of classes where these books are read. A group of parents sued MCBE, arguing that, in declining to allow opt-outs, MCBE had violated their right to the free exercise of their religion. The district court denied a preliminary injunction to the plaintiffs, concluding that they were unlikely to prevail on their claims, and the plaintiffs appealed to the Fourth Circuit.

The amicus brief, filed in support of MCBE, argues that:
• States have an interest in making schools safe, supportive, and inclusive for all students, including LGBTQ+ youth;
• All students benefit from supportive and inclusive schools;
• LGBTQ+ youth face unique struggles that are addressed through a supportive and inclusive school environment, including curricula that incorporate LGBTQ-inclusive books;
• MCBE’s use of the books it has chosen fosters tolerance and prepares children for a diverse world; and
• MCBE’s efforts do not burden religious freedom or violate Maryland law. The amicus brief, co-led by the Attorneys General of Maryland and Massachusetts, was joined by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.”
https://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/press/2023/110123.pdf

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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