David Parker, parent of kindergartner, stands before Judge Robert McKenna in Concord District Court April 28 after spending the night in jail (Photo: Article 8 Alliance)
The trial of a Massachusetts man who was arrested after disputing the teaching of homosexuality in his son’s kindergarten class has been continued until next month.
In April, David Parker, of Lexington, spent a night in jail and was charged with criminal trespassing after refusing to leave a scheduled meeting with officials at the Estabrook Elementary School unless they gave him the option of pulling his child out of certain classes.
Parker says the officials had indicated they would agree to a notification policy then suddenly refused. He insists he has done nothing wrong and is willing to contest the charge rather than plea-bargain.
The Lexington School Board contends Parker deliberately set out to be arrested and make national headlines.
Parker’s attorney, Jeffrey Denner, rejected that claim, arguing Parker engaged in extensive communication with the school, at the invitation of officials, intending to “establish a dialogue to protect his own children and other children as well.”
David Parker’s son brought home the book ‘Who’s in a Family?’ in school’s ‘Diversity Book Bag’ (Image: Article 8 Alliance)
The dispute began last spring when Parker’s then-5-year-old son brought home a book to be shared with his parents titled, “Who’s in a Family?” The optional reading material, which came in a “Diversity Book Bag,” depicted at least two households led by homosexual partners.
Article 8 Alliance, an advocacy group supporting Parker that opposes same-sex marriage, says that with the national publicity the case already has generated, the District Attorney’s office appears reluctant to go forward with a trial, and would probably prefer to have Parker accept a plea-bargain that includes probation.
But Parker insists he has done nothing wrong and represents a danger to no one.
A no-trespass order issued against him by the school – which includes all district property – is “simply an intimidation tactic” against anyone who might protest the school’s pro-homosexual policies regarding elementary school children, Article 8 says.
Parker cannot drop off or pick up his children from school; attend his children’s sports events or other school activities; meet with his children’s teachers at parent-teacher conferences; attend or participate in school committee meetings; or even vote on election day at his local polling place, a public school.
The illustrated book, according to Article 8, says, “A family can be made up in many different ways” and includes this text:
“Laura and Kyle live with their two moms, Joyce and Emily, and a poodle named Daisy. It takes all four of them to give Daisy her bath.”
Another illustrated page says:
“Robin’s family is made up of her dad, Clifford, her dad’s partner, Henry, and Robin’s cat, Sassy. Clifford and Henry take turns making dinner for their family.”
Article 8 says the book “uses subtle but powerful emotions to normalize homosexual relationships in the minds of the young children.”
A backer of the Lexington School District, Laura Tully, argued, according to WCVB-TV in Boston, “A 5-year-old who is coming to the classroom with two moms deserves to be in a classroom that includes books that show his family.”
The jury trial was to begin today at 9 a.m. at Concord District Courthouse, but the judge postponed the case another month. Why?
“The Superintendent of Schools has said he hasn’t had time to make a decision yet,” Article 8’s Brian Camenker points out in an Agape Press report. “Now, one has to think, it’s been all summer. It’s been in the news. How can he not make a 10-minute decision? But this is what he claims.”
Thus, the judge has given the superintendent one more month to decide whether to keep the no-trespass order in place, adds Camenker, or whether to discontinue the ban preventing Parker from setting foot on school grounds.