The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals went further, marking the school door as the line where parents' rights end and the "village" takes over. In Fields v. Palmdale School District in November, the judges ruled that the right of parents "does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door."
Just last term, the U.S. Supreme Court devoted time and energy to a silly lawsuit over the replacement of a male teacher as coach of a girls basketball team. When a teacher has a complaint, the Supreme Court springs to attention; but when a parent has a complaint about indoctrination of his or her child, the high court doesn't even want to hear about it.
In the same 30 days as the Ridgewood and Palmdale cases, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review another parental rights case in Crowley v. McKinney. The high court is spending its time this term on a slew of cases about prisoners' rights (even about the alleged right of prisoners to read pornographic magazines) rather than hear a single case about parents' rights to raise their children.
In Crowley v. McKinney, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the parent, saying that the school has a constitutional right of "the autonomy of educational institutions." The parent had appealed to the Supreme Court to recognize the "settled law" of Pierce v. Society of Sisters, which in 1925 recognized the constitutional right of parents to control the education of their own children.
Even though recognizing the Supreme Court's holding in Pierce that "Oregon's project of forcing all children to attend public schools implied a hostility to private education that had no footing in American traditions or educational policy," the 7th Circuit ignored its application to the current case. Does forcing children to answer questions about sex, drugs and suicide have a "footing in American traditions"? Of course not.
It hasn't grabbed the attention of the Supreme Court that the 3rd, 7th and 9th circuit courts have ignored the settled law of Pierce. You can bet the high court would take a case that requires testing schoolchildren for use of illegal drugs, yet the Supreme Court refuses to face the issue of requiring schoolchildren to participate in classroom surveys that suggests doing drugs is normal behavior.
Teachers are not required to answer these intrusive questions, so why are children? Evidently, parents are the only ones who do not benefit from equal protection of the law.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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