Once Upon A Time In A Gay-Themed Story Book...
What would you do if your child came home and told you about this:
Two couples are suing a Boston-area public school district, claiming it usurped their parental rights by exposing their sons -- in kindergarten and second grade -- to lessons that included homosexual romance without telling the parents.According to this article over at gay.com, the title of the book is King and King.
The couples, who describe themselves as "devout Christians" in their federal lawsuit against Lexington, Mass., public schools, charged that the small school district violated state law and their civil rights when it taught their sons about a "lifestyle" the parents consider to be immoral and failed to let them know in advance.
"This isn't about gays. It's about human sexuality, broadly," Jeffrey Denner, the parents' attorney, said Friday. He said his clients would be equally disturbed if their young sons were learning about "heterosexual prostitution" in school.
"Age is very important," when deciding when a child should be taught about sexual issues, Mr. Denner said. "Parents should be making the determination" as to when their children should be introduced to such topics, because parents "have the right to make value-laden decisions" on behalf of their offspring.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs accuse Lexington Public Schools and the town of Lexington of breaking the commonwealth of Massachusetts' so-called "opt-out law." The statute requires public schools to notify parents when the instructional curriculum "primarily involves human sexual education or human sexual issues," so that concerned parents can remove their children from class.
However, the Lexington school district views reading materials and discussions about same-sex couples as part of lessons on diversity and families, not sexuality. So it does not believe it is obliged to tell parents about them. School officials say the topics of homosexual "marriage" and families may come up in the classroom, unannounced and unplanned.
The school system says it started developing its policy of including homosexual couples in its instruction on families about seven years ago, as more and more same-sex parents moved into the Lexington area.
"The Lexington school system is committed to creating an environment that is warm and welcoming to everyone. Lexington is a diverse community that respects all of its students and parents," schools Superintendent Paul Ash said in a written statement.
"In Massachusetts, gays have equal rights. We have gay marriages. Our kids see it, and it's part of our overall curriculum. We're talking about what kids see in today's world," Mr. Ash told the Associated Press last week in response to the filing of the parents' lawsuit.
Plaintiffs in the case are Joseph and Robin Wirthlin and David and Tonia Parker. Last month, the Wirthlins complained after learning that a Lexington teacher read a storybook to their son's second-grade class about two princes who fall in love, wed and live happily ever after. The school district said the reading was merely part of a unit on marriage. The Wirthlins said they should have been told in advance of the reading, but were not.
I agree that the parents should have been told about the subject material in advance. What I have some concerns about is the lawsuit. Couldn't have this been more satisfactorily resolved with a conference between the parents, teacher, and principal?
And then if they still weren't satisfied, the parents could have brought their concerns to the attention of their elected school board. That's what the board is for.