Court Strips Parents of Education Rights

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has decreed that parents should have no control over what the school decides to teach their child. In a California case, parents objected to a battery of 54 sexually provocative questions presented to elementary students in the Palmdale School District. The Court ruled that parents have "no privacy rights to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students."

Early American public schools were established to primarily teach reading, writing and arithmetic. Moral and social skills were left to the parents and the churches. Since then, a number of court decisions have decreed that parents cannot object to condom distribution, or compulsory classes and assemblies in sex education including promotion of homosexuality.

An earlier case, Brown v Board of Education asserted: "Today education is perhaps the most important function of state and local governments....Today, [education] is a principal instrument in awakening the child to cultural values, in preparing him for later professional training , and in helping him to adjust normally to his environment."

Building on these cases, the Ninth Circuit boldly shoved parents aside and declared: "Parents...have no constitutional right to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise..." It concluded: " is not merely about teaching the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Education serves higher civic and social functions....Protecting the mental health of children falls well within the state's broad interest in education."

This last statement is the most threatening. When the state undertakes to protect "mental health," you can be assured it will be on their definition. With the American Psychiatric Association declaring that homosexuality is no longer a "disorder" and pedophilia up for question, Christians who object to these definitions could easily be labeled "mentally ill" bigots.

The only door left open to the Christian parent is not available to everyone. The Court said that parents only lose their rights when their children are "enrolled as students." For some time now, Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family and the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention have recommended that Christian parents remove their children from the public schools.

But the alternatives are expensive: either tuition in a Christian school or home schooling. Many families who are already struggling to pay taxes for public schools cannot afford tuition. And home schooling is not possible where both parents have to work to help support the family.

Fortunately, many public school officials are in sympathy with parents in this plight. But pressure from teacher's unions, the courts, the ACLU, and liberal legislators make it extremely difficult for them to stand against this onslaught of evil.

Each family must find the best way to protect the precious souls of their children. Parents need to take time to help the children understand the battle they are in and equip them with the truth from God's Word. Christian parents whose children grew up reading Chick tracts say that they are astonished at the spiritual strength of their kids when they were subjected to the lies in the public schools.

Sooner or later, each child will grow up and face life's choices between good and evil. A generation ago, the culture was a help in teaching children the difference. Today, the culture is the enemy, providing almost overwhelming exposure and temptation to sin. But, if the youngster has the truth from God's Word, Satan's darts will bounce off.

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