NewsFri Feb 23, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST
Lawyers Fire Back as ACLU Claims Parental Rights Stop at the Schoolhouse Door
By Peter J. Smith
LEXINGTON, Massachusetts, February 23, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Lawyers for parents aggrieved over material normalizing homosexual families taught to their children, argued that the Lexington school system’s refusal to permit them to withdraw their primary school-age children violated their First Amendment Rights under the US Constitution.
"The defendants have chosen to brazenly use tiny children’s psyches to promote ideology over faith" said lawyers for parents David and Tonia Parker, and Rob and Robin Wirthlin. The parents’ requests to compromise and withdraw their children from homosexual material and discussions in the classroom were rebuffed by school officials, who claim a "legitimate state interest" to normalise same-sex romantic relationships in the minds of schoolchildren.
The plaintiffs’ attorneys responded to a motion to dismiss the case from the defendants, the town and public school system of Lexington, saying the defendants are violating "the establishment clause" and "free-exercise" clauses of the Constititution, by inculcating material subversive to the faith of the couples’ children. This violates government neutrality in matters of religion and non-religion.
"The First Amendment protects religion, not secularism. Secularism may be important to combat an allegation of establishment, but secularism can never be allowed to burden faith," read the plaintiff’s brief, alleging that "the government has intentionally chosen to elevate non-religious secular causes over their deep and abiding religious faith."
"The burden here is nothing short of an intentional attempt to wipe the plaintiff’s faith away altogether," argued their lawyers. "The obvious and well-pleaded impressionable age of the children, combined with the State’s abject unwillingness to even notify the parents that it intends to indoctrinate on these extremely personal topics virtually ensures that if the State gets its way, the Plaintiffs’ children will not harbor the families’ beliefs."
The lawyers explained that the parents were not concerned about the mere “exposure” to homosexual families - exposure easily obtainable from children on the playground, but instead seek to "prevent adult-initiated indoctrination or psychic imprinting." The plaintiffs’ attorneys offered to provide the Court expert testimony affirming that very young children see a "transference" between parents and teachers, where they see the teacher as almost equivalent in moral authority to a parent, thus validating the parents’ concern about the effect of this indoctrination on their children.
"The defendants’ sole motivation is their own political determination that the Plaintiffs’ faith should be eradicated, and the place to start this process is with their children", stated the couples’ lawyers. "This places an enormous burden upon the parents, a small minority of believers, and the minor plaintiffs who will be emotionally conflicted and drained."
Judge Mark Wolf is expected to render a decision within a few weeks either to dismiss the case or let it proceed.
See Plaintiffs memorandum:
See Related LifeSite Coverage:
Public School Argues in Court it is Mandated to Provide Pro-Gay Ed and Parents Have No Right to Object