Monday, May 02, 2005

David Parker's Child Subject to "Coercive Indoctrination" Says Silverglate

David Parker was on the "Greater Boston" show tonight on WGBH TV (Ch. 2 Boston). He explained that while the book Who's In a Family was a "red flag" to him, the real issue is parental notification, and his right to opt his child out of a curriculum promoting same-sex "marriage". Massachusetts law does give parents this right in the areas of "human sexual education or human sexuality issues."

Also on the program was Harvey Silverglate, noted First Amendment attorney, who said that parents do have the law on their side, to go into school and make demands as Parker did. There is a Constitutional right, he said, to be free from "coercive indoctrination". We need to draw a clear line, Silverglate said, between what is academic education and socialization or indoctrination.

An ACLU attorney, Carol Rose of Lexington, was also on the program. She selectively quoted only the part of the Parental Notification law referring to "sex ed" content, but neglected to mention that "human sexuality issues" are also covered. She claimed that optional books were the only issue, and that there was no "curriculum" involved. She charged that this case "is just part of an orchestrated attempt to try to put censorship into our schools."

Parker has made it clear that he's concerned about the so-called "teachable moments", when teachers and staff will seize on a student's question, or an incident in the cafeteria or playground, to start discussions of issues such as homosexuality or same'sex "marriage". How can he protect his child from this more covert form of indoctrination?

This is surely one reason the school administration would not sign any agreement acknowledging Parker's rights. They know that such "impromptu discussions" are quite common -- and are, in fact, encouraged by the schools.