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Director of PG County daycare center asks lesbian couple to ‘split up’

Rising Generations apologizes, says ‘employee’ was reprimanded

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(Bigstock photo)

The owners of a daycare center in Prince George’s County, Md., have apologized for one of their facility’s directors who told a lesbian couple whose child has been attending the daycare center that God instructed her to advise the couple to “split up.”

News about the action by Kimesha Munford, a director at Rising Generations Early Learning Center in Lanham, Md., was reported by D.C.’s FOX 5 News in a broadcast story in which the married lesbian couple was interviewed.

According to the FOX 5 report, Kelly Gibbs and her wife Ky Gibbs said they decided to withdraw their child from Rising Generations a few weeks ago after Munford left a “disturbing” voicemail message on Kelly Gibbs’ phone at 3:30 a.m., which the couple provided to FOX 5 News.

“Hi Mrs. Gibbs, this is Ms. Kimesha from Rising Generations,” the phone message says. “I’m so sorry to be calling you this late and to be calling you from my personal, private cell phone, but I had to call to let you know that I’m a prophet and God often speaks to me through dreams and visions,” Munford’s voice message continues.

“The word of the Lord says that God wants you and your wife to split up and I am so sorry to have to tell you this,” the voice message says, adding, “I also speak in tongues, I pray in tongues.”

Kelley and Ky Gibbs told FOX 5 that the message from Munford came as a shock because the daycare center is not a religious operation and no one from Rising Generations had given them any indication of disapproval toward their status as a same-sex married couple.

“If you don’t have the control to call me at 3:30 in the morning, especially for something that has nothing to do with my child, I just don’t trust that you have the self-control to not do something with my child during the day,” Kelly told FOX 5 in explaining the couple’s decision to withdraw their child from Rising Generations.

The Washington Blade couldn’t immediately reach a Rising Generations spokesperson for comment.

But FOX 5 posted on its website a statement by Rising Generations responding to the television news station’s report about the concerns raised by Kelly and Ky Gibbs. The statement is signed by Paulette Munford and Kelvin F. Munford. FOX 5 identified the two as the owners of Rising Generations and Kimesha Munford’s parents.

“Last night, FOX 5 D.C. aired a news report detailing concerning statements made by a staff member regarding the LGBTQIA+ relationship of a Rising Generation parent,” the statement says. “These statements were offensive and inappropriate, and they do not reflect the thoughts or beliefs of Rising Generations,” the statement continues.

“We extend our heartfelt apologies for the incident and any disappointment or frustration it may have caused,” the two Munfords say in their statement. “While it has always been our mission to provide quality care for children in a safe and loving environment, mistakes do happen and we are working diligently to address the issue.”

The statement concludes by saying, “Since becoming aware of the incident, the employee — who has served our organization for more than 30 years — has been reprimanded and acknowledged their error in judgment. We have also begun exploring ways that we as an organization can ensure that this never happens again.” 

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Maryland

Joe Vogel campaign holds ‘Big Gay Canvass Kickoff’

Gay Md. lawmaker running for Congress

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Maryland state Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery County) attends the "Big Gay Canvass Kickoff" event at his congressional campaign headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., on April 19, 2024. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Maryland state Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery County) on Friday held a “Big Gay Canvass Kickoff” event at his congressional campaign’s headquarters.

LGBTQ+ Victory Fund Vice President of Outreach and Engagement Marty Rouse and John Klenert, a member of the DC Vote and Victory Fund Campaign board of directors, are among those who participated alongside members of Equality PAC. Vogel spoke before Rouse, Klenert and others canvassed for votes in the area.

“Joe brings a fresh new perspective to politics,” said Gabri Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, deputy field director for Vogel’s campaign.

Vogel, 27, is among the Democrats running for Congressman David Trone’s seat.

Trone last May announced his bid to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) in the U.S. Senate. 

The Democratic primary is on May 14. Vogel would be the first Latino, the first gay man and first Gen Zer elected to Congress from Maryland if he were to win in November.

“We need a new generation of leadership with new perspectives, new ideas, and the courage to actually deliver for our communities if we want things to get better in this country,” Vogel told the Washington Blade last month during an interview in D.C.

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Maryland

Montgomery County police chief discusses arrest of trans student charged with planned school shooting

County executive tells news conference student’s trans identity is irrelevant to criminal charge

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(Photo by jiawangkun/Bigstock)

Montgomery County, Md., Police Chief Marcus Jones joined other county and law enforcement officials at a news conference on Friday, April 19, to provide details of the police investigation and arrest of an 18-year-old high school student charged two days earlier with threats of mass violence based on information that he allegedly planed a mass shooting at the high school and elementary school he attended in Rockville, Md.

In charging documents and in a press release issued on April 18, Montgomery County Police identified the arrested student as “Andrea Ye, of Rockville, whose preferred name is Alex Ye.”

One of the charging documents states that a friend of Ye, who police say came forward as a witness who played a crucial role in alerting authorities to Ye’s threats of a school shooting, noted that Ye told the witness that Ye identified as the transgender student he wrote about as character in a 129-page manifesto outlining plans for a school shooting. Police have said Ye told them the manifesto was a fictional story he planned to publish.  

At the news conference on Friday, Police Chief Jones and other law enforcement officials, including an FBI official and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, referred to the student as Alex Ye and Mr. Ye. None of the officials raised the issue of whether Ye identified as a transgender man, seven though one of the police documents identifies Ye as a “biological female.”

County Executive Elrich appeared to express the views of the public officials at the news conference when one of the media reporters, during a question-and-answer period, asked Elrich why he and the others who spoke at the news conferment failed to “admit that this individual was transgender.”

“Because it’s not a lead,” Elrich replied, asking if the press and law enforcement authorities should disclose that someone arrested for murder is “a white Christian male who’s heterosexual.” Elrich stated, “No, you don’t – You never publish somebody’s sexual orientation when we talk about this. Why you are focusing on this being a transgender is beyond me. It’s not a news story. It is not a crime to  be transgender.”

The reporter attempted to respond but was cut off by the press conference moderator, who called on someone else to ask the next question.

In his remarks at the press conference Chief Jones praised the so far unidentified witness who was the first to alert authorities about Ye’s manifesto appearing to make threats of a mass school shooting.

“Now, this is a situation that highlights  the critical importance of vigilance and community involvement in preventing potential tragedies,” Jones said. “I commend the collaborative efforts of the Montgomery County Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation,  the Rockville City Police Department, and the Montgomery County Public Schools, as well as Montgomery County Health and Human Services,” he told the gathering.

“Thanks to their swift action and cooperation a potentially catastrophic event was prevented,” Jones said.

Jones pointed out that during the current school year, police have received reports of 140 threats to the public schools in Montgomery County. He said after a thorough investigation, none of them rose to the level where an arrest was made. Instead, police and school officials took steps to arrange for the student making the threats and their parents to take remedial action, including providing  mental health services.

“But this case is different,” Jones said. “This case is entirely different that takes it to a different level. It was a concerned witness who brought this matter to light by rereporting the suspect’s manifesto to the authorities. This underscores the value of community engagement and the ‘see something say something’ approach,” he said.

Jones mentioned at the press conference that Ye was  being held without bond since the time of his arrest but was scheduled to appear in court for a bond hearing on Friday shortly after the press conference took place to determine whether he should be released while awaiting trial or continue to be held.

In his manifesto obtained by police, Ye writes about committing a school shooting, and strategizes how to carry out the act. Ye also contemplates targeting an elementary school and says that he wants to be famous.

In charging documents reported on by WJLA 7 and WBAL 11, the 129-page document, which Ye has referred to as a book of fiction, included writings that said, in part:

“I want to shoot up a school. I’ve been preparing for months. The gun is an AR-15. This gun is going to change lives tomorrow … As I walk through the hallways, I cherry pick the classrooms that are the easiest targets. I need to figure out how to sneak the gun in. I have contemplated making bombs. The instructions to make them are surprisingly available online. I have also considered shooting up my former elementary school because little kids make easier targets. High school’s the best target; I’m the most familiar with the layout. I pace around my room like an evil mastermind. I’ve put so much effort into this. My ultimate goal would be to set the world record for the most amount of kills in a shooting. If I have time, I’ll try to decapitate my victims with a knife to turn the injuries into deaths.”

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Maryland

Rockville teen charged with plotting school shooting after FBI finds ‘manifesto’

Alex Ye charged with threats of mass violence

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Alex Ye (Photo courtesy of the Montgomery County Police Department)

BY BRETT BARROUQUERE | A Montgomery County high school student is charged with what police describe as plans to commit a school shooting.

Andrea Ye, 18, of Rockville, whose preferred name is Alex Ye, is charged with threats of mass violence. Montgomery County Police and the FBI arrested Ye Wednesday.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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