The Maryland State Board of Education nixed a proposed regulation that would have specifically banned harassment of students based on sexual orientation.
The board, in a rare move, softened the proposal after a barrage of complaints from angry parents who feared such a provision would open the door to teaching homosexuality in classrooms throughout the state.
"The concern that people expressed to us indicated that they thought we had opened a specific can of worms, and we didn't want a specific can of worms," said state school board member Morris Jones of Queen Anne's County. "You can't ignore hundreds of letters and phone calls."
The board voted unanimously on July 27 to remove from a proposed regulation promoting a safe school climate any specific …