This past February, Massachusetts Federal Judge Mark L. Wolf dismissed a civil rights suit brought by two sets of parents, David and Tonia Parker and Joseph and Robin Wirthlin, who claimed that the school their children attend, Estabrook Elementary in Lexington, Mass., violated state law by indoctrinating their children in the homosexual lifestyle. According to World Net Daily (Feb. 24), David Parker was "arrested and jailed" in 2005 "over his request -- and the school's refusal -- to notify him when adults discuss homosexuality or transgenderism with his 6-year-old kindergartner," despite a state law requiring such parental notification. In 2006 Estabrook "presented the book King and King, about homosexual romances and marriage, to second-graders and again refused to provide notification," according to World Net Daily. So Parker et al. sued.
A few days after Parker and the other parents filed their lawsuit, "Parker's son, Jacob, was beaten up at Estabrook Elementary, officials said," when "a group of 8-10 kids surrounded him and took him out of sight of patrolling aides,' then pummeled and beat him." No word yet if Jacob, like Rebekah Rice (see the previous New Oxford Note), was disciplined by the school for his role in this occurrence.
According to Judge Wolf's reasoning, under the Constitution, public schools are "entitled" to teach about homosexuality in a positive way, because it is "reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy. Diversity is a hallmark of our nation. It is increasingly evident that our diversity includes differences in sexual orientation." And because our national history "includes instances of official discrimination against gays and lesbians it is reasonable for public educators to teach elementary school students" about the positives of homosexuality.
Not only is it "reasonable" for schools to teach homosexuality, says Judge Wolf, but parents should not even be allowed to remove their children from class when this subject is taught: "An exodus from class when issues of homosexuality or same-sex marriage are to be discussed could send the message that gays, lesbians, and the children of same-sex parents are inferior and, therefore, have a damaging effect on those students."
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