Monday, December 04, 2006

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Sex Survey Case

Washington, DC - Today the United States Supreme Court refused to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in the case of Fields v. Palmdale School District. Liberty Counsel took over the case after the Ninth Circuit had already ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not protect parents from having their children exposed to objectionable surveys in public school. Liberty Counsel requested a rehearing by the Ninth Circuit, which then deleted some of the most harmful language in the opinion (which stated that parental rights stop at the schoolhouse gate) but left the parents with no federal remedy.The case involves seven parents who objected to a psychological assessment survey with sexually explicit questions given to children at a California elementary school. The case did not focus on possible state law protections that parents may have. A state law claim was pursued and dismissed in federal court by the original attorneys in the Fields case.The denial of review is not surprising, as the Supreme Court accepts very few of the 8,000 or so cases petitioned each year. The Ninth Circuit ruling applies to the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington but does not affect the laws of individual states, which may provide greater protection for parents than does the U.S. Constitution. Since the Supreme Court chose not to get involved in this issue, state laws are needed to adequately protect parental rights. In the absence of a federal remedy, parents must rely on state law. Many states currently have laws that require parental permission and/or opt out provisions whenever the schools address human sexuality. Liberty Counsel has a comprehensive list of the laws of all 50 states.Parents have the primary role of raising and training their children, especially when it comes to topics such as human sexuality. It is outrageous to permit public school employees to indoctrinate our children regarding sex in any manner and at any age. Parents do not cease being parents when they drop their children off at the schoolhouse door. State legislatures should enact laws that protect the role of parents. It doesn't take a village to raise a child. It takes committed parents. Whenever government assumes it knows best how to raise our children, then the family unit will suffer.