From Teach The Facts (Montgomery County, Maryland):

In early November, a three-judge panel ruled in favor of Palmdale, Calif., schools and the local community regarding a survey of student sexual mores:

Parents do not have “a right to compel public schools to follow their own idiosyncratic views as to what information the schools may dispense. Parents have a right to inform their children when and as they wish on the subject of sex; they have no constitutional right, however, to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that itis appropriate to do so.”

Fields v. Palmdale School District, decided by a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on November 2, 2005, affirming the decision of Bush II appointee, United States District Judge James V. Selna.

The excerpt above is from page 15074 of the decision, available here in PDF format.

The panel essentially decided that individual parents adhering to one extreme may not hijack public-school curricula that have already been vetted and approved by the broader community.

Focus on the Family and the religious-right Liberty Counsel was among many religious-right organizations that blasted this victory of all parents in a community over the anti-public-school obstructionism of a few. (It’s curious how Focus defends community values only when the communities are conservative and the dissenting parents are liberal.)

Teach The Facts discusses in depth how the ruling may directly impact the ability of Montgomery County, Maryland, to reclaim its sex-ed curriculum from lawsuits by the antigay, anticommunity groups PFOX and CRC.

Community values are not absolute; they may not be used as an excuse to crush minority individuals’ constitutional freedoms. But neither may one individual’s demand for special rights and privileges be permitted to bring a community’s good health and education to a standstill.

Categorized in: