November 7, 2005
California Parents Will Ask for Rehearing of Ninth Circuit Court's Ruling on Outrageous Sex Questionnaire Given to First Through Third Grade Children
Liberty Counsel joins the fight and becomes lead counsel for the parents
Palmdale, CA - At the request of seven California parents, Liberty Counsel has agreed to become lead counsel in a case that shocked the nation last week. In Fields v. Palmdale School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that parental rights to direct the upbringing of their children stop at the "threshold of the school door."
The parents in Fields objected to a survey given to their children at Mesquite Elementary School. The survey was administered and developed by Kristi Seymour. Ms. Seymour volunteered at the school as a "mental health counselor" while enrolled in a master's degree program at California School of Professional Psychology. The survey asked children aged seven to ten about the frequency of: "Touching my private parts too much," "Thinking about having sex," "Thinking about touching other people's private parts," Thinking about sex when I don't want to," "Not trusting people because they might want sex," "Getting scared or upset when I think about sex," "Having sex feelings in my body," and "Can't stop thinking about sex."
Writing for the court, Judge Reinhardt, the same judge who ruled against the Pledge of Allegiance, stated that parents do not have a "right to compel public schools to follow their own idiosyncratic views as to what information the schools may dispense." The court stated that parents have no constitutional right "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 it is appropriate to do so." The court ruled that the only choice parents have is whether to enroll their children in public school. Once in school, the parents have no authority over what their children are taught. The school, according to the court, can teach the children anything, short of committing treason.
Mathew D. Staver, President and General Counsel of Liberty Counsel, commented: "The parents feel like their children were mentally raped when they were subjected to embarrassing and inappropriate sexually explicit materials. Americans will be stunned to learn that parental rights stop at the threshold of the school door. In the court's opinion, it's okay to teach kindergartners to use condoms or to tantalize youngsters with pornographic materials. Anything, at anytime, for any grade is fine. The court said that the only constitutional restriction is that the school may not commit treason! Such a ruling is unthinkable."
Liberty Counsel will ask the full panel of the Ninth Circuit to set aside the ruling. Liberty Counsel is also prepared to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case. According to The Weekly Standard, Judge Reinhardt is the most reversed judge in history by the Supreme Court.
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