Home Carroll County Carroll County Delegate Eric Bouchat votes yes on HB 558 – legislation...

Carroll County Delegate Eric Bouchat votes yes on HB 558 – legislation that disallows parents to opt out of the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation curriculum


In what can only be seen as a SHOCKING vote (at least to some) Delegate Eric Bouchat (District 5) votes yes on HB 558. This legislation passed 97 to 36 on February 23rd:

Here is a look at the vote:

Here is a closer look at the YEA votes if the one above is hard to see:

About HB 558: Primary and Secondary Education – Comprehensive Health Education Framework – Established

  • Requiring the State Department of Education, in collaboration with the Maryland Department of Health, to develop a comprehensive health education framework; requiring each county board of education to create an age-appropriate curriculum that is consistent with the comprehensive health education framework; requiring each county board to establish policies, guidelines, and procedures for a parent or guardian to opt out of certain topics for the parent’s or guardian’s student, subject to certain requirements; etc.

View additional details here: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb0558

Many local Republicans in Carroll County and across the state had been against this legislation. Here is information from Delegate Matt Morgan (Republican – St. Mary’s County) from a couple of days ago:

Remember when Democrats said gender identity ideology was not happening in our school?

They just snuck in an amendment on HB558 that will disallow parents to opt out of the teaching of gender identity and sexual orientation curriculum. So, as amended, parents will be able to opt out of family life but not gender identity and sexual orientation. This curriculum will be taught to children and young as kindergartners.

If you disagree with this, I encourage you to contact the Democrat representatives in the Maryland General Assembly and tell them that your child is not their property. Tell them to stop taking away parental rights

Here is a look at the change of the amendment noted in the video above:

View the full text of HB 558 here: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2024RS/bills/hb/hb0558t.pdf

Here are comments from Board of Education members and others in our community about this legislation:

Carroll County Board of Education member Tara Battaglia (February 23rd)

  • It is very disappointing that anyone would want to take away a parent’s right to choose which Family Life curriculum is appropriate for their family. It should stay at the local level of any BOE and should be a parent’s decision. Not the State!

Carroll County Board of Education member Marsha Herbert (February 23rd)

  • While the Board of Education did not submit specific testimony opposing HB558, we oppose all bills that infringe upon local control of school system operations or curriculum.  It is unfortunate that the House passed HB558 today, just as it passed HB119 in the 2023 session.  Additionally, the Board of Education supports parents having the right to participate in their child’s educational process.That being said, HB558 is similar to first reader version of HB119 from 2023, not the amended version that ultimately passed the House last year.  The Carroll County Public Schools would already be in full compliance with HB558 should it pass the Senate and be enacted.  The Board developed an alternative curriculum and provided parents with the ability to opt out of the State framework at the parents’ discretion.

Statement from Carroll Republican Victory on February 23rd

  • Unfortunately, HB558 passed the House of Delegates today. This terrible bill takes away local control from our County Board of Ed. It stops parents from being able to opt-out their children from learning about gender identity and sexual orientation. It is no secret that the legislation was introduced to target Carroll County. Delegate April Rose offered an amendment on the floor and defended Carroll & our great school system!

Post from State Senator Justin Ready on February 24th states (sharing the Carroll Republican Victory post above):

  • Thank you to Delegate April Rose for standing up for Carroll County and leading the fight against this very bad bill.

Carroll County Board of Education member Steve Whisler (February 24th)

  • I am so proud of Delegate Rose for standing up for our county! She is a fighter and one of the most respected members in our State Assembly.
    Our parents and CCPS staff devoted thousands of hours to develop a fantastic alternative to the state’s radical health framework. In addition, our Board of Education voted unanimously to give parents options. Parents know what’s best for their kids.
    I will work hard over the coming weeks to lobby the Senate’s EEE Committee to kill this terrible bill. We must always preserve local control!


More to come as additional details are gathered. Stay tuned…

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