The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked review a case in which parents are objecting to the actions of a school district where officials are trying “to systematically indoctrinate young children into disbelieving core ten[e]ts of their families’ faith.”
The case on which WND has reported previously involves Massachusetts father David Parker. His Boston law firm, Denner Pelligrino LLP, now has filed a cert petition with the U.S. Supreme Court asking for a review of January’s ruling from a federal appeals court in Boston.
There, Judge Sandra Lynch said those who are concerned over civil rights violations “may seek recourse to the normal political processes for change in the town and state.” Earlier District Judge Mark Wolf had ordered that school officials’ work to undermine Christian beliefs is needed to prepare children for citizenship, and if parents don’t like it they can elect a different school committee or homeschool their children.
Those conclusions, according to MassResistance, a pro-family organization following the case, “have been so bizarre that it boggles the mind.”
Parker, his wife and another couple have been trying to bring a federal civil rights lawsuit against school officials and others in Lexington, Mass., but have run into a massively funded campaign by nationwide groups promoting homosexuality.
“At issue is the teaching of homosexuality and transgender topics to elementary school children while denying parents rights of consent, opt-out provision, or even notification before or after the fact!” wrote MassResistance.
“The school department, led by Supt. Paul Ash, has stated in school publications and in the media that they will not compromise on any of those points.”
The case developed in 2005 when Parker learned of the pro-homosexual indoctrination plan in the school.
“After a long series of meetings with Estabrook Elementary School officials regarding … teaching homosexual issues to his son in kindergarten without parental consent, David Parker finally told the principal and the city’s director of education that he would not leave until the school agreed to negotiate some agreement on the matter. Rather than negotiate, the officials had Parker arrested and brought to jail, where he spent the night. The next morning he was led into Concord District court in handcuffs,” MassResistance reported.
The lawsuit was launched in 2006 after a teacher in the same elementary school read a “homosexual romance” book to the Parkers’ son, again without notification or consent.
The request for Supreme Court review noted the questions raised in the case have not been answered in previous cases. Those include: “Whether objecting parents have a constitutional right to opt their public school children out of, or even to receive notice of, undisputed government efforts to indoctrinate kindergarten, first and second grade school children into the propriety, indeed desirability, of same gender marriage.”
Also at issue is whether those schools’ “open and specific intention to indoctrinate … children into disbelieving core tenets of their families’ deeply held religious faith constitutes a burden on the families’ free exercise of religion.”
The high court previously found, the request argued, the “primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition. Aspects of child rearing protected from unnecessary intrusion by the government include the inculcation of moral standards, religious beliefs, and elements of good citizenship.”
The legal brief notes the families are not trying to impose their beliefs on others or control the school curriculum.
But, “it should be clear that the First and Fourteenth Amendment[s] guarantee parents the right to exclude children from having their true and deepest faith indoctrinated out from under them. The state cannot compel families to govern their intimate lives in accord with a government-created ideal.”
In this case, the school was acting “on behalf of a special interest group intent in asserting its private views,” the brief said.
It described a 2005 meeting when the Parkers attended a meeting featuring Jon Pfeifer of the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network which “focused exclusively upon homosexuality and how to acclimate young children to it.
“Mr. Pfeifer encouraged the [school] committee to place many homosexual family books in each classroom, hang gay and lesbian family posters in each classroom, and encourage teacher-initiated discussions in each class … Several teachers and the principal of the Estrabrook Elementary School attended the meeting, and visibly and verbally affirmed this action plan,” the petition said
“Simple logic, as well as the tapestry of this court’s earlier authority, compels the conclusion that open and notorious attempts to teach tiny children that their families’ faith is wrong creates an enormous burden on the faith that can never be overcome,” the petition argued.
“This court should …. rule that when such pedagogical efforts intentionally and openly seek to eradicate parents’ rights in areas that the court has previously recognized to be the most intimate and private, an actionable free exercise burden has been created.”
Even the lower courts’ recognized that, the brief argued.
“The First Circuit acknowledged the point even while ruling against the petitioners. ‘It is a fair inference that the reading of ‘King and King’ was precisely intended to influence the listening children toward tolerance of gay marriage. That was the point of why that book was chosen and sued.'”
David Parker and his team of lawyers talk to the press after an earlier court hearing. Left to right: Robert Sinsheimer, Jeffrey Denner, David Parker, Neil Tassel
In an interview with WND, Parker said, “[Unless the case is overturned,] it now would allow teachers in elementary schools to influence children into any views they wanted to, behind the backs of parents, to a captive audience, and against the will of the parents if need be.
“Teachers are being postured to have a constitutional right to coercively indoctrinate little children [into whatever they choose to teach,]” he noted.
“It’s not just exposure to an idea, to the [offensive] books, It’s the teacher’s manipulating the mind of children to embrace dangerous ideologies, because the teacher happens to believe it’s a good ideology,” he said.
“It brings these battlegrounds to the psyches and minds of little children,” Parker said. “Their little minds should not be the battleground for culture wars.
“Proper boundaries have to be established. This is absolutely of national significance. No parent wants to put their very little children in positions in which they’re minds are being used as battlegrounds,” he said.
“What the pro-homosexual camp has done is positioned so-called ‘gay’ rights’ to completely trump parental rights and parental authority in public schools,” he said.
He said such a plan eventually will cause those schools to “implode,” because so many concerned parents will see they have no alternative but to remove their children from public schools.
“The human secularist religion of the [National Education Association,] buttressed by the power of the state, will now turn public schools into the next secular synagogues,” Parker said. “[They say], ‘We’re just preparing the kids to be citizens.’ But it’s a religion. It is a devious and evil form of religion.”