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FIRST-PERSON: Ninth Circuit madness

DALLAS (BP)–The left really wants your children. The latest evidence is written into a recent decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that should send chills down the spine of every parent in America.

The ruling states that parents of public school children have no “fundamental right” to be the “exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children.” And when parents complain, as they did in this case, the court says they “have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.”

Author and columnist Don Feder’s description of the ruling is accurate: “The court held that public schools can expose your children to any depravity, can erotically indoctrinate them, can sexualize them when they’re barely out of diapers — and you can’t do a … thing about it.”

This ruling came about because several parents in the Palmdale, Calif., school district filed a lawsuit over a survey given to their elementary school-age children. The consent forms parents signed failed to mention that sex would be a topic. Students were required to answer questions about the frequency of “touching my private parts too much,” “thinking about having sex,” “thinking about touching other people’s private parts,” “having sex feelings in my body.” The survey was given to children in the first, third and fifth grades. Those kids probably weren’t thinking much about sex yet. But they are now. Imagine the subsequent discussions that took place in homes in that desert community. Some parents probably thought they had a few years before they needed to discuss such matters.

The language in Judge Stephen Reinhardt’s opinion goes well beyond simply denying the parents the right to opt their children out of the survey. (Yes, it’s the same Judge Reinhardt who wrote the infamous “Pledge” decision.) It runs wild in opposing traditional values, conveying the mistaken idea that the government has a blank check with our kids when they enter public schools.

Look for this case, Fields v. Palmdale, to be appealed to the full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. No comfort there, since that court’s rulings are famously out of the mainstream. The case could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court, which has ruled 15 times that the Constitution guarantees parents’ rights to make decisions “concerning the care, custody and control of their children.” Good. Parents do not surrender their rights to their children when they enroll them in public schools. But these rights are threatened. In his Cold Steel Caucus Report Nov. 10, Feder warns, “Liberal jurists collude with liberal educators.” That’s because deep down they view children as the property of the state.

Liberal planners have long seen public education as the training ground for molding compliant citizens who will serve as “worker bees” in a society run by an increasingly powerful government. In an attempt to subject the individual’s desires to those of the state, socialist and communist elites have historically used their educational systems to break down moral and sexual mores and to tear away at the child’s ties to his family. A look at most public schools’ assigned literature, science and health curricula, and even many history lessons, shows this methodology is alive and well in

Such investigation often reveals lessons that include the portrayal of homosexual behavior as normal and promiscuous sex as recreation. Throughout much of these curricula, marriage is downplayed and the family redefined. Surveys like the one given in Palmdale are used, not only to change minds, but also to measure the effectiveness of this indoctrination. Often the transformation is gradual. It’s diluted by the fact that we still live in a free society and by the actions of parents — like those who brought this lawsuit — who are willing to fight for their kids.

It’s not easy. Parents who try to involve themselves in the schools and who voice their opposition to the sexualization of their children often hear the not-so-subtle message from educators that, “We’re the professionals. We know better.” They don’t. This summer, the 2005 Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution calling on parents to make sure they know what their children are learning and being exposed to in their public schools and to ask for change when necessary. Southern Baptist churches were encouraged to support these efforts. State conventions are considering similar resolutions. There ought to be a national movement among Christians to influence public schools. Southern Baptists are well positioned to lead it.
Dexter is a conservative activist and a former co-host of Marlin Maddoux’s Point of View syndicated radio program. She currently serves as a consultant for KMA Direct Communications in Plano, Texas, and as a producer for Washington Watch Weekly, a broadcast of the Family Research Council.

    About the Author

  • Penna Dexter