A collection of 'gay' organizations has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a Massachusetts lawsuit, claiming they have every right to teach their doctrine to grade-school students.
Parental rights, according to the brief filed this week, "have never meant that a parent can demand prior notice and the right to opt a child out of mere exposure to ideas in the public schools that a parent disapproves of."
That includes, according to the brief, religious or any other ideas.
The new brief was filed in a Massachusetts District Court lawsuit by Lexington parent David Parker, whose civil rights case is pending, by the Human Rights Campaign, the ACLU, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and others.
"The amici organizations urge this court to grant the school defendants' motion to dismiss because the scope of the rights of religious freedom and parental control over the upbringing of children, as asserted by the plaintiffs, would undermine teaching and learning in the Lexington public schools," the brief alleges.
"Why are all these groups – especially the national groups – so interested in a parent's right to decide what moral issues are taught to his children by adults in elementary schools, especially regarding homosexuality," asked Brian Camenker, president of MassResistance.
That group said it is a "pro-family action center for Massachusetts" which equips citizens to fight attacks on freedoms, constitutional government, children and parental rights.
"This is outrageous and very frightening. They must see David Parker's case as quite a threat to their ability to push their message on children," he said.
He said the "true agenda" of the sponsors of the brief is apparent in the demands that the state has a legal obligation to teach homosexual issues to young children in the public schools – and parents do not even have the right to remove their kids or be notified.
Parker was arrested and jailed in Lexington in April 2005 over his request – and the school's refusal – to notify him when adults discuss homosexuality or transgenderism with his 6-year-old kindergartner. That despite a state law requiring such notification.
The incident made news around the nation and even Gov. Mitt Romney agreed with Parker.
However, in April 2006 the same school presented the book "King and King," about homosexual romances and marriage, to second-graders and again refused to provide notification.
Parker and other parents followed with the federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging school officials and the town were refusing to follow state law.
Just days later, David Parker's now-first-grade son, Jacob, was beaten up at Estabrook Elementary in Lexington, officials said. MassResistance said a group of 8-10 kids surrounded him and took him out of sight of "patrolling aides," then pummeled and beat him.
Joining David and Tonia Parker in the lawsuit were Joseph and Robin Wirthlin. They allege district officials and staff at Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington violated state law and civil rights by indoctrinating their children about an immoral lifestyle, circumventing parental responsibilities.
The school is claiming a state law permitting parents to pull their children applies only to classes in which such sensitive topics are the main focus, and the books promoting homosexuality were not the main focus.
In Massachusetts, the 'gay' groups said: "If a parent chooses to have his or her child attend the public schools, that child has a right to a broad and high quality public education, not one constrained by individual parental beliefs."
David Parker's son brought home the book 'Who's in a Family?' in school's 'Diversity Book Bag' (Image: Article 8 Alliance)
The Massachusetts arguments were remarkably similar to a recent European court's conclusion.
The European Human Rights Court just a few weeks ago concluded in a case involving similar objections that parents do not have an "exclusive" right to lead their children's education and any parental "wish" to have their children grow up without adverse influences "could not take priority over compulsory school attendance."
That court said a German family had no right to provide homeschooling for their children.
In the case that originated in Germany, homeschooling parents Fritz and Marianna Konrad argued for that right because they said Germany's compulsory school attendance endangered their children's religious upbringing and promotes teaching inconsistent with the family's Christian faith.
But the court conclude, "The parents' right to education did not go as far as to deprive their children of that experience."
"The (German) Federal Constitutional Court stressed the general interest of society to avoid the emergence of parallel societies based on separate philosophical convictions and the importance of integrating minorities into society," the European ruling said.