Last Friday, February 23, Federal District Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed David Parker's civil rights lawsuit against the Lexington, Massachusetts school board. Along with other parents from the same school, Parker filed the lawsuit last April after they were was notified by the local school board that the school was not required to provide parental notification before introducing and teaching homosexual or transgender material in elementary school classrooms.
As reported by LifeSiteNews, Parker originally confronted officials over the issue at his son's elementary school when homosexual material was read in the six-year-old's classroom without Parker's prior knowledge.
Justice Wolf accepted the school board's motion to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that "It is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students about individuals with different sexual orientations and about various forms of families, including those with same-sex parents, in an effort to eradicate the effects of past discrimination, to reduce the risk of future discrimination and, in the process, to reaffirm our nation's constitutional commitment to promoting mutual respect among members of our diverse society."
Wolf based his decision on the argument that the Constitution allows public schools the freedom to teach material that is "reasonably" geared to forming good citizens. "In essence, under the Constitution public schools are entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy."
According to Wolf, good citizens must accept homosexuality in the name of diversity. He continued, "Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation."
In his decision, Wolf acknowledged that parents are the primary educators of their children. However, he maintained that, should parents choose to send their child to public school, "The Constitution does not permit them to prescribe what those children will be taught." Instead, Wolf offered three options for parents who disapproved of the material being taught to their children in public schools — they can remove their child from the public system and instead choose a private school, they can educate their child at home or they can work to elect a school board that will uphold their beliefs.
Wolf did not leave parents the option to exercise their religious freedom and remove their child from class on the days when morally objectionable material would be covered saying that this could offend other children. He said, "An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students."
Wolf justified his decision saying that requiring public school children to be presented with "instruction concerning different types of families" was essentially necessary to prepare them to "respect differences in their personal interactions with others and in their future participation in the political process."
MassResistance.org, a Massachusetts' pro-family website, denounced Wolf's decision saying that it is largely based on precedent from a prior ruling that it argues was poorly reasoned and riddled with errors. MassResistance also questioned the justice of the options that Wolf provided to the concerned parents saying, "Can you imagine a federal judge in the Civil Rights era telling blacks the same thing — that if they can't be served at a lunch counter they should just start their own restaurant?"
Parker's attorneys say that they intend to appeal the dismissal to the Appeals Court.
Lexington school board has been financially and otherwise aided in this issue by pro-homosexual groups from across the nation including American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, Massachusetts Teachers Association.