On August 20, 2023, Inside The Classroom reported on X (formerly Twitter) that the Howard County Public School System provided a “mandatory training video” to teachers telling them that “they may be compromised if they don’t take the official position on teaching controversial issues such as Black Lives Matter action week.” The narrator of the training video tells teachers:
To be absolutely clear, the Black Lives Matter movement is not inherently controversial. But the Black Lives Matter Week of Action has very specific legislative goals and requests for action. This makes the Week of Action controversial. Teachers may or may not agree with the particular action steps asked, but that is irrelevant in lessons that may be conducted during this week. It is important to note that teachers are absolutely protected for using the official line when they take a stand on issues that have been decided by the system.
On February 10, 2023, the Howard County Public School System published an article from the superintendent promoting the district participating in “Black Lives Matter at School Week of Action.” Parents Defending Education previously reported on the lessons that the district provided to teachers for this week.
The lessons that appeared to be for middle school students were titled “Restorative Justice, Empathy, and Loving Engagement,” “Diversity and Globalism,” “Queer Affirming, Transgender Affirming, and Collective Value,” “Intergenerational, Black Families, and Black Villages,” and “Black Women and Femmes.”
The lesson “Queer Affirming, Transgender Affirming, and Collective Value” included “embracing and making space for trans brothers and sisters to participate and lead, being self-reflexive and doing the work required to dismantle gender privilege and uplift Black trans folk.” The lesson “Intergenerational, Black Families, and Black Villages” included “disrupting the Western prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages.’”