By Hilary White

SAN FRANCISCO, November 3, 2005 ( – The Palmdale school district in California wanted children in the first, third and fifth grades to think about sex as part of a study on “barriers to learning.” When parents took the Palmdale school district to court, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them.

The court ruled that, “There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children…Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.”

The group of parents, outraged that their young children were being exposed to explicit sexual suggestions, argued that parents had the sole right “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs.”

Advocates of family rights have long complained that public schools are being used to program children in modern ideas of sexual libertinism. Homosexual activists, Planned Parenthood, and a host of well-funded organizations, with the complicity of activist courts dedicated to the spread of the sexual revolution have long targeted school children for early indoctrination.

The survey, administered in conjunction with the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University and the Children’s Bureau of Southern California, asked the children, some as young as seven, to rate mental distractions on a scale from “never” to “almost all the time.” The items included, “Touching my private parts too much,”“Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside,”“Can’t stop thinking about sex,”“Having sex feelings in my body.”

A spokesman for Focus of the Family said, “Anyone who wonders why pro-family organizations like ours have been so concerned about activist courts only has to look at this case.”

In his opinion Judge Stephen Reinhardt agreed with an earlier decision that the parents’ civil rights had not been violated, “and that even if they had, the School District is immune from suit.”“In fact” he added, “no such specific right can be found in the deep roots of the nation’s history and tradition or implied in the concept of ordered liberty.”

Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus said, “The 9th Circuit did more than rule against parents who were upset that their elementary-school-aged children were being asked explicit questions about sex in class. They told all parents they have no right to protest what public schools tell their children.”

The Ninth Circuit and particularly Stephen Reinhardt are infamous for leftist judicial activism. Reinhardt’s reputation has long been established as one of the most overturned judges in US judicial history. By 1997, the Supreme Court had unanimously overturned seven of his rulings, including one in which he said there is a constitutional right to physician-assisted suicide. He is on record as saying that abortion is a “fundamental right” and in 1993, wrote in the Washington Post about the need for openly homosexual judges.

The parents in the Palmdale School District have a reasonable expectation that an appeal to the Supreme Court would result in a reversal of the ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court has found it necessary to reverse the Ninth Circuit more than all other appellate courts combined. A former Supreme Court clerk told the Weekly Standard in 1997 that justices have privately referred to Reinhardt as a “renegade judge” and give his opinions extra scrutiny.

Read Judge Reinhardt’s opinion:

Weekly Standard article on Reinhardt’s judicial activism:


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