By John-Henry Westen
LEXINGTON, MA, February 15, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At a hearing last week, Lexington public school officials argued in court that public schools have a mandate to teach positively about homosexuality and that parents have no right to have their children exempted from such instruction. A parent’s only option is to withdraw their children completely from public school, lawyers argued.
The hearing was an attempt by the city and school system to dismiss a lawsuit brought by David and Tonia Parker, and Rob and Robin Wirthlin. The couples are suing the town and its public school system after their children were given books normalizing homosexual families. Attempts to reach a compromise with the school failed after officials refused to agree to the parents request that their young children be exempted from homosexual material and discussions in the classroom.
The parents decided on a lawsuit after a homosexual fairy tale, “King & King,” was read to the Wirthlin’s seven-year-old son in class. In the story, a prince turns away one beautiful princess after another until finally falling in love with another prince. The princes’ marry, kiss, and live happily ever after. The story was read as part of a class on weddings.
Dozens of people – parents’ rights supporters of the Parkers and Wirthlins, braved the freezing temperatures outside the Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse in South Boston for the hearing to show their support.
Mass Resistance, a group which supports parents rights in the state, reports that Lexington school officials argued in court that schools have a “legitimate state interest” – in fact a mandate – to teach what they call “diversity”, which includes normalizing same-sex romantic relationships in the minds of elementary school children. The state must fight “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” in ways that “do not perpetuate stereotypes,” the lawyers argued.
The school brought up various Massachusetts Department of Education curriculum frameworks as well as the assertion that same-sex marriage is “legal” in Massachusetts.
Brian Camenker of Mass Resistance explained that the second major point argued by the school representatives was that parents have no right to control what ideas the schools present to children, even elementary school children. Parents’ only legitimate option, the lawyers for the school system argued, is to take their children out of the public school system. “Once I have elected to send my child to public school, my fundamental right does not allow me to direct what my child is exposed to in the public school,” the lawyer said.
In response, one of Parkers’ lawyers, Robert Sinsheimer, attacked what he termed “the vulgar ultimatum” to simply “remove yourself and go somewhere else” if you don’t like this action by the school system. What the school system calls “diversity training” he said was “indoctrination.”
“Parents have the right to direct the moral upbringing of their children,” he stressed.
Camenker told LifeSiteNews.com that a ruling is expected from Judge Mark Wolf in about three weeks.