Had enough? Citizens, take back your government!

David Parker's elementary school rolling out new "gay" curriculum in wake of court decision.

When another parent demands rights, Superintendent answers: "We don't have to." Leads to strongly-worded email exchange.

Posted: April 4, 2008

Things are only getting worse in the Massachusetts schools.

The Lexington school system and superintendent Paul Ash, true to their aggressive anti-family militancy, have reacted to the federal court decision in the David Parker case by announcing a new formalized homosexual program in the elementary school. And Ash told an angry parent that he has no rights in the matter.

David Parker was brought into jail for a night in April 2005 over his insistence that he be notified when his 6-year-old son be taught about homosexuality by school staff. This led to a federal Civil Rights lawsuit the following year. This past January, a judge in Boston issued a horrific and bizarre ruling stating that -- according to current Massachusetts law -- parents have no rights to prevent homosexuality to be taught to their kids in the schools. The Parkers are preparing to appeal this to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Announcement -- and reaction.

But the school officials aren't waiting. You've got to see this yourself to believe it . . .

Earlier this week the elementary school parents in Lexington were emailed a statement by superintendent Paul Ash. It was also published in the local newspaper. (Link to entire statement.)  Part of it said:

On March 18, we presented to the School Committee this new, formalized diversity curriculum in preparation for next year, when we plan to pilot four to five short units in each elementary grade. Some units will focus on families, including families with single parents, foster parents, and gay and lesbian parents. Other units will focus on racial and ethnic diversity and other areas in which human beings differ from one another. Resources in this curriculum include books, materials, and discussion points that help children feel welcome and allow them to talk about their families and the families of their friends. Some units will focus on stereotyping, historical roots of discrimination, and bullying.

Shawn Landon, a father of a child in David Parker's son's class, was concerned and upset. On Wednesday, he sent the following email to Martha Batten, principal of Estabrook Elementary School:

It seems awful soon to be discussing next year,
but since you guys started it . . .

I will absolutely require prior notification to any discussion, education, training, reading or anything at all related (even remotely) to homosexuality. It is quite clear by the email I just received that you have a very specific agenda and my family will be exercising our rights to be notified and not to participate. This goes against everything we believe and practice. Thank you in advance for your expected cooperation.

Shawn Landon

On Thursday morning, Mr. Landon received this email reply from her (obviously she doesn't want to deal with it herself):

Shawn, this email is about a system wide curriculum initiative so I will forward this to the Superintendent.

Later that morning Mr. Landon received the following from Paul Ash (which was cc'd to Martha Batten and the school committee):

From: Paul Ash <pash@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us>
Date: Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 9:01 AM
Subject: Re: Next year
To: Martha Batten <mbatten@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us>
Cc: Shawn Landon, school-com@silver.ci.lexington.ma.us

Dear Mr. Landon:

Ms. Batten has forwarded to me your recent email. Ms. Batten told me that you are new to town and perhaps you are not aware of the lawsuit decided by the United States Court of Appeals (Parker vs. Hurley). This case established Lexington's right to teach diversity units, including stories that show same gender parents. The court decided we are not required to inform parents in advance of teaching units that include same gender parents or required to release students when such topics are discussed. The Appeals Court dismissed the claim that parents have a right to require the school provide advance notice or the right to remove their children. In addition, the School Committee has decided that teachers must be able to teach topics they feel are appropriate without the requirement parents be notified in advance.

Based on your email, I know you strongly disagree with this policy. I can, however, offer you the opportunity to examine the curriculum. I invite you to visit the Estabrook School to look at the materials before they are piloted next year. If your child happens to be placed in a class with a teacher who will be teaching the four of five diversity units, you will then know what will be taught and will be able to talk to your son or daughter about the topics at home.

Our goal is to develop a curriculum that includes the many faces and backgrounds of all students in our community.

Dr. Ash

Ash arrogantly tells Mr. Landon that he will NOT be allowed to be notified when his child is taught about homosexuality, but that he may look at the broad curriculum. This is very insulting. The curriculum and the "materials" can be as general and non-specific as the school chooses.

On Thursday afternoon, Mr. Landon sent this reply to Ash:

TO: pash@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us, mbatten@sch.ci.lexington.ma.us, school-com@silver.ci.lexington.ma.us (also cc'd to several other Lexington officials).

Sent: 4/3/2008 1:36:14 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Next year

Paul, I must say that I am extremely disappointed with your response. Your complete rejection of my basic rights as a parent is nothing less than outrageous and discriminatory. It is entirely unacceptable. I must insist that I be notified prior to my child being exposed to this horribly offensive material.

Please tell me what arrangements, if any, I need to make so that I may examine the curriculum.

Thank you,
Shawn Landon

Good for you, Mr. Landon!
It's about time more people stood up and were counted. It's actually amazing and outrageous that people like Paul Ash and the others school officials are allowed to be educators in a free society. What kind of human beings would do this to parents and children? We're sure that this issue isn't over.