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Followng David Parker's arrest: Lexington Schools Acting Superintendent William J. Hurley -- makes public statements to demean and discredit Parker

A textbook case of arrogance and dishonesty. His hostility toward David Parker became evident almost immediately.

(1) On the day of Parker's court appearance, Hurley made the following statements on television about Parker:

On WHDH-TV (4/28/05): Referring to David Parker's Christian beliefs, and his request to be notified & and have the option to exclude his 6-year-old son:

"It is both sad and disappointing. I am going to assume he's working from a belief system, but what [Parker] was asking for was both unreasonable and not doable."

On CBS4-TV (4/28/05): Referring to the children's book portraying homosexual relationships as the same as a mother and father:

"It shows how children are raised. It's not making any judgement. It's not promoting one over another. What it does do is it offers us the opportunity to explain to children that people come from different kinds of backgrounds."

(2) The following week Hurley (along with the Police Chief) issued the following press release.

It was sent to Boston area media and also was given to every child at Esterbrook Elementary School to take home.

Lexington Public Schools
1557 Massachusetts Avenue
Lexington, Massachusetts 02420

(781) 861-2580 fax: (781) 863-5829


By William J. Hurley, Interim Superintendent of Schools
Christopher Casey, Chief of Police, Lexington

May 2, 2005

At the request of Mr. and Mrs. Parker, a school principal and the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Lexington Public Schools (“Administrators”) met with the Parkers on Wednesday, April 27, 2005, starting at approximately 3:00 p.m. The Administrators agreed to meet with the Parkers to consider their several requests, which appeared related to a picture book entitled "Who’s in a Family?" The book was among several included in a “diversity book bag” that children in the Lexington Public Schools are permitted to take home for parents to read with their child if they wish. The book is designed for young children and includes illustrations of children accompanied by various parent figures, including two individuals of different genders, two individuals of the same gender, grandparents, bi-racial couples, as well as a one-parent family.

In particular, the Parkers requested the Administrators to ensure that in the future, teachers automatically excuse or remove the Parkers’ child even when discussions about such issues arise, even if spontaneously. In response, the Administrators described Lexington Public Schools’ policy, adopted under state law (Chapter 71, Section 32A), allowing students to opt out of curriculum that “primarily involves human sexual education or human sexuality issues.” The Administrators explained that granting the Parkers’ request was not required by the Policy or statutory language. In addition, they explained that implementation of the Parkers’ request was simply not practical, since children could even discuss such matters among themselves at school.

The Administrators informed the Parkers that they could appeal the response both within the school department and, if necessary, to the Commissioner of Education. However, Mr. Parker replied, “Other people have tried that and it did not work.” The Parkers stated that they would not leave the school until their demands were met.

With the hours passing and the Parkers refusing to leave the school building, the Lexington Police were notified. While Mrs. Parker chose to leave before police arrival, Mr. Parker did not. Two plain-clothed detectives arrived at 5:20 p.m., followed by a Police Lieutenant at 6:00 p.m. All attempted to coax Mr. Parker to leave voluntarily. However, Mr. Parker made it clear that he would not leave unless his demands were met and that he knew he was engaging in “civil disobedience” and was willing to accept the consequences. Mr. Parker declared, “If I’m not under arrest then I’m not leaving.” Mr. Parker also used his cell phone to make a number of phone calls, and a small group of people began arriving with cameras.

Finally, when it became necessary for the administrative staff to leave and secure the building, the police arrested Mr. Parker at 6:24 p.m. The group with the video camera was waiting behind the police station and photographed Mr. Parker’s arrival. Mr. Parker was processed at the police station, afforded all his rights, and after using the telephone, chose not to be bailed. He was held overnight at the Lexington Police station and in the morning was transported to the Concord District Court for arraignment.


Click here for actual copy of press release (pdf format)

Hurley's statements in this press release are full of untruths:

  1. Hurley claims that the Parkers presented "several requests" which "appear to be related" to the book. It's clear that Hurley did not actually read the Parkers' request. They were very clear that they had they had one primary request - to be notified and be able to exclude their son from discussions of same-sex families. The book was only peripheral to that.

  2. The Parkers did not make any request regarding conversations between children, only between adults and his son.

  3. Hurley continues to play games with the English language, claiming that homosexuality is not a "human sexuality issue" -- so therefore he can ignore the state law.

  4. Hurley neglects to mention that negotiations did take place during the meeting and Parker was offered a settlement, which he accepted in good faith and was led to believe by the Principal and Director of Education that Hurley would also accept.  But Hurley rejected it.

  5. Hurley's description of "groups" of people gathering is inaccurate.  Parker's wife and two other people came to the school with David Parker, and waited for him to finish. His phone calls out to his wife gave them the impression that an agreement was being reached.

  6. Hurley neglects to mention that the next morning (when Parker learned he would be going to court) the police refused to allow him to call his lawyer (or anyone else) so he was forced to go before the judge without legal counsel.