|Back to January Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 276||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JANUARY 2009|
|Parental Rights Lose in Court|
Public school indoctrination increased. In 2006, second-grader Joey Wirthlin was subjected to a story of a prince who had been ordered by his mother to get married. The prince rejected several princesses, and then chose another prince. The book showed a wedding scene of the two princes, and the last page shows the two boys kissing with a red heart over their mouths.
The Parker and Wirthlin parents asked their schools to give them advance notice before subjecting their children to these teachings, which violate their religious beliefs. The schools refused. The parents then sued, and the trial court ruled against them. The parents appealed to a higher court. The families were ably represented by courageous attorneys, but filing briefs against them were the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts ACLU, the Lexington Community Action for Responsible Education and Safety, the Lexington Education Association, the Massachusetts Teachers Association, a group called "Respecting Differences," the top law firm in Boston, the Anti-Defamation League, the Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, the Greater Boston Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the Human Rights Campaign, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, and the Massachusetts Women's Bar Association.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously against the families, and even denied parents the right to opt out their children from the courses. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case, so the decision against parents' rights in public schools now stands as the law.