A group of frustrated Pennsylvania parents was continually stonewalled when they requested to see a school district's sex-ed curriculum, according to Liberty Counsel.
Shannon Jones – one of the frustrated parents – explained that after State College School District officials adamantly refused to make the sex-ed materials available, Liberty Counsel Litigation Counsel Richard Mast wrote a letter, which resulted in a meeting scheduled for May.
Jones contended that administrators and staff were condescending at the meeting.
"According to one teacher, we had no right to know what was going on,” Jones informed, according to Liberty Counsel. “And also, they couldn't show us the book or books or the curriculum or the handouts or the videos because there were – ‘um, hmm, let's see – copyright issues. That's it – that's our excuse.’"
The Pennsylvania Family Institute's Independence Law Center acted on the parents' behalf, along with Liberty Counsel.
But even after the May meeting and bringing their concerns to the district’s attention, Jones remains skeptical that all of the materials were even presented.
"There is no way for us to ever know whether we saw the true curriculum,” the concerned parent lamented. “We will never know what's really going on in the classroom. Unless you're sitting in the actual classroom, you're not going to know."
Parents can opt their children out of certain sex-ed materials, but, from what Jones says, this becomes extremely difficult if they don't know what the materials – to which they are objecting – actually are.
Can’t veg on sex-ed in the Garden State
Meanwhile, parents just east of the Keystone State in New Jersey are equally upset that material they did see in their children’s sex-ed books remains in the classroom.
In New Jersey, a judge recently dismissed a lawsuit filed by infuriated parents who wanted their school board to remove a book that they contend is nothing less than pornographic.
The suit asked that the book, Fun Home, a Family Tragicomic, be removed from the Watchung Hills Regional High School curriculum.
New Jersey Family Policy Council President and Executive Director Len Deo pointed out that the author of the controversial book, Alison Bechdel, is also a cartoonist – who included lesbians in various sexual positions in her book.
"The parents that saw this – they were just really upset about the fact that this was made to be part of the curriculum," Deo stressed.
The legal expert pointed out that New Jersey law prohibits the distribution of pornography to minors – noting that a number of students in the English class would be under 18 years of age.
"They [the parents] also had a petition circulated in the school district, and they got well over 600 parents to sign the petition that they wanted the book removed,” Deo added. “And what happened was the school board basically did not listen to them."
Superior Court Judge Margaret Goodzeit dismissed the suit with prejudice – which means that it cannot be re-litigated.
Despite this setback, Deo asserts that the Family Council is not giving up the fight.