INDIANAPOLIS (LifeSiteNews) — Indiana’s law that places limits on public school instruction on sexuality and LGBT topics can be implemented this year, according to a federal judge.
District Judge James Hanlon, of the Southern District of Indiana, rejected an ACLU-backed challenge to House Bill 1608. The bill says a school and its vendors “may not provide any instruction to a student in prekindergarten through grade 3 on human sexuality” but employees and vendors can answer questions about those topics.
Judge Hanlon rejected a lawsuit from Kayla Smiley, a public school teacher, who wants to promote the LGBT agenda in the classroom, including displaying pro-LGBT messages on her water bottle. Smiley’s classroom library “includ[es] [books on] LGBTQ issues, such as biographies of Harvey Milk, and Elton John.”
“She also has in her student classroom library the book And Tango Make[s] Three, which is based on the true story of two male penguins who raise a chick together,” according to the original lawsuit.
And Tango Makes Three is a story about two male penguins who apparently believed they were raising an egg, but it was really a rock. Zookeepers then took an egg from a female penguin and gave it to the two male penguins, one of whom later mated.
Judge Hanlon dismissed her lawsuit on Friday because it is based on hypotheticals. He wrote that she could challenge the law in the state courts if she was actually punished, such as losing her teaching license, according to the ruling. In her lawsuit, Smiley even tried to use a Supreme Court ruling last year, in support of a coach’s right to privately pray after a high school football game, to bolster her decision.
Hanlon rejected that analogy and her other cited court cases because they involved the words of a government employee speaking as a private citizen.
Smiley challenged the law’s effect on her ability to teach. “Ms. Smiley cites no authority establishing that an elementary school teacher has the right to speak in her capacity as a private citizen when expressing an educational message to her students,” Hanlon wrote.
“Without a substantial effect on protected speech, Ms. Smiley is unlikely to succeed on her claim that HEA 1608—on its face—violates the First Amendment,” the judge ruled.
Sexuality instruction continues to be a source of concern
The issue of sexuality instruction in classrooms has continued to be a topic of concern for parents and conservatives, particularly as evidence continues to emerge that some public schools are hiding so-called “gender transitions” from parents. Discussing sex is also a common tactic teachers use to groom for abuse, according to sexual abuse expert Professor Charol Shakeshaft.
Pornographic books in school and other public libraries have also raised concerns, as some news outlets have been forced to acknowledge problems with the content.
For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously held a news briefing to detail the inappropriate material found in some books in public schools.
At least one news station cut the feed when he started showing the actual material because it was deemed inappropriate for their viewers to see. There have been multiple documented cases of school board members telling parents and activists not to read from books found in the school because children might hear what they are saying.
WFLA reporter Mahsa Saeidi acknowledged on Twitter that the channel decided to stop its live feed while the video was presented after journalists were apprised of the sort of content the Florida governor would be revealing, LifeSiteNews previously reported.
“When we were told sexually explicit content would be shown – we went down,” Saeidi said. “I am not disputing that. I emailed my newsroom, concerned.” She said there was also a technical issue later during the briefing.