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Parents’ Rights Not Violated When School Teaches about Same-Sex Families

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit of two couples in Lexington, Massachusetts, who claimed the local public school district violated their constitutional rights by teaching their children about families headed by same-sex parents.

The judge said in his decision (PDF link):

Public schools are entitled to teach anything that 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 diversity includes differences in sexual orientation.

He noted the couples could always homeschool or send their children to private school, or ask the school to excuse their children when same-sex families are discussed in the classroom. They have no right, however, to dictate what the school district teaches.

This is a sound ruling that focuses on our country’s historical values and current realities. I’ll just add, as I’ve said before, that while it’s their prerogative if parents want their children excused from planned discussions of diversity and same-sex families, they’re not going to be able to zoom in and yank their children away every time my son mentions that he went to the park with his moms or brings in photos of our wedding for show and tell. It’s going to be harder and harder to compartmentalize discussion of same-sex families into neat, optional units of the curriculum. We’re not an abstraction; we’re part of the larger community, and our children are learning next to everyone else’s.

(Crossposted at Mombian.)

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