February 21, 2008
Dad challenging 'manipulation' of kids
'Their little minds should not be the battleground for culture wars'
By Bob Unruh
A Massachusetts father who was handcuffed and arrested after objecting to teachers and school managers indoctrinating his 5-year-old son in the homosexual lifestyle will be appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn his case because of the "national significance" of the precedent.
"[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," David Parker told WND.
He and his lawyers, of Denner Pellegrino LLP in Boston, recently confirmed they will be seeking permission to submit the dispute to the U.S. Supreme Court, following an appeals court decision that, as Parker described, allows the "indoctrination" of small children.
"The teachers do not have a constitutional right to do that," he told WND. "That, to me, is the crux of this."
He said the ruling from the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals essentially concluded that it is no burden on parents' free exercise of religion to have their children taught ideas at a public school that violate the parents' religious teachings.
"They can just teach the children at home," Parker said the court found regarding parents.
"But that ignores the fact that the most basic free exercise is your teaching your children right from wrong in their formative years," he said. "That is completely being undermined by the rulings of these federal courts so far.
"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.
"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.
That's an issue that California already is facing, as WND has reported. There, a coalition of organizations is encouraging parents, and providing resources for them to be able to remove their children from public schools. The coalition's goal is to take 600,000 children from California's public districts, because of a new state law there requiring indoctrination that not only is pro-homosexual, but also affirms bisexuality, transsexuality and other alternative lifestyle choices.
"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."
He said it is the responsibility and right of parents, not schools, to "keep the boundaries."
"That is how you raise children. If you wipe the boundaries away, that's the worst thing for children," he said.
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Lexington, Mass., school district can teach children contrary ideas without violating their parents' rights to exercise religious beliefs.
"Public schools," wrote Judge Sandra L. Lynch, "are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas, or even participate in discussions about them."
Lynch's reasoning was based on the Massachusetts Supreme Court's groundbreaking 2003 decision ruling "that the state constitution mandates the recognition of same-sex marriage."
As WND reported in 2006, U.S. District Judge Mark L. Wolf originally dismissed the civil rights lawsuit by David and Tonia Parker, concluding there is, in fact, an obligation for public schools to teach young children to accept and endorse homosexuality.
The case, which has been chronicled extensively by the non-profit advocacy group MassResistance, poses great dangers, Parker told WND, because if homosexuality and bisexuality can be taught by public school teachers to children as young as age 5, there is virtually no topic, up to and including Nazism, that educational precedents would not allow to be taught to young children.
"There is a history of civil rights and First Amendment cases losing badly in the local and federal courts and then winning in the U.S. Supreme Court, including the famous Hurly South Boston Parade case (parade organizers vs. homosexual activists) in the 1990s which won 9-0 after losing 17 times in state and federal courts," Mass Resistance said.
The appellate ruling reflected the same attitude that the trial judge did, Parker said. The appeals court said that if the parents were "offended," they "may seek recourse to the normal political processes for change in the town and state."
The trial judge had suggested the parents could provide homeschool or another alternative as a solution.
The dispute began in the spring of 2005 when the Parkers 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.
The Parkers filed suit against the Lexington school district in 2006 and later were joined by Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, whose second-grader's class was read a story during class time about two princes who become lovers.
Bob Unruh is a news editor for WorldNetDaily.com.