From the press conference after the hearing -
David Parker and his lawyer, Jeffrey Denner
Denner: The expectation is that the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts will comply with the discovery laws.
There are laws in place that control the flow of information to
children and the classroom protects the rights of parents who are
essentially guardians of what their children learn. And we're
assuming Lexington, as all other towns in Massachusetts, will
comply with that.
Reporter: What is this trial all
Denner: The Commonwealth of
Massachusetts has decided to charge my client with trespassing. We
don't believe he in fact trespassed. We believe that what he was
doing was an exercise of what any parent would do under these kinds
of circumstances, that he was invited in to have a discussion; then
the session got scuttled, and the result is the Commonwealth has
decided that what actually happened was trespassing. We actually
consider that something far worse happened. They [the Parkers] were
more the victims than the perpetrators.
Reporter: The School Board
maintains that he deliberately set out to be arrested, to make
Denner: That is simply untrue. I
don't speak for the school, but that is simply untrue. He was
invited to come in, he came in, there was a dialogue going back and
forth, there were faxes sent back and forth, from the school to the
school committee. His intent was absolutely not to be arrested. His
intent was to establish a dialogue to protect his own children and
other children as well.
Reporter: What laws were violated?
Denner: There is a law in
Massachusetts that basically allows parents to know that certain
categories of information are being taught to their children. If
they know that, they can opt out of class that day, or at least
they can give a more balanced, parent's perspective, more parental
guidance, to their child…
Reporter: Wasn't the book that's at
the core of this issue, "Who's in a Family" just a voluntary thing?
Denner: There are many problems
here. I think there's been a systematic failure to comply with the
laws of Massachusetts. There's a larger issue here both locally,
nationally, and internationally of the role of families vis-à-vis
the government, and what kind of incursions the government can make
into people's lives, and that's one battlefield.
Reporter: So ultimately, you see
this as a test case for all of those laws, principles…?
Denner: Every case … is a test case
for something. I think that justice generally is a very hard test
Reporter: Nonetheless, you see a
possibility of a compromise here?...
Denner: In the criminal matter,
there could be a resolution to this case if it's dismissed without
any allegation of wrongdoing against Mr. Parker.
Reporter: Can we ask Mr. Parker and
his wife about how this is affecting you and your family?
David Parker: We're very displeased
the School Administration continues to bar my presence from all
schools in Lexington. This includes meeting places to vote, school
committee meetings, parent-teacher meetings…
Tonia Parker: Picking up his son at
school, participating in our son's events at the school as well.
David Parker: And my son is very
cognizant of the fact that his daddy can't enter school.
Reporter: And what do you explain
to him? What have you told him? He's six years old?
David Parker: He was five at the
time, six now. I told him his daddy's in charge. And he smiled.
Reporter: So where do you drop him
off? In front of the school? Is that right, Mrs. Parker?
David Parker: My wife is allowed to
pick him up and drop him off. Only I am banned from all schools.
Reporter: Isn't the discovery process a little
unusual in this situation?
Denner: I don't think it's unusual
to assert anyone's Constitutional rights …once they're charged. The
Commonwealth of Massachusetts made a decision to charge David
Parker. We would be remiss in not zealously protecting him,
defending him, to the absolute extent that the Constitution and the
Reporter: How close are you to
reaching some sort of agreement?
Denner: I have no idea how to
Reporter: You've got a lot of
supporters here today. Did that give you confidence?
David Parker: I think it speaks to
what the issue is, the support that we're getting.