Monday, August 21, 2006

Someone Forgot to Read Them Their Rights

Los Angeles Pastor Brian Lews and his wife are suing their ninth grade daughter's public charter school for showing an explicitly R-Rated movie in her English class.
According to Pastor Brian Lewis and his wife Tara, Animo Venice Charter Public High School, a school serving the city of Venice, California, and the Los Angeles Westside, violated their parental rights when school officials failed to inform the parents that the school would be showing his daughter Alexis and fellow students the R-rated movie, Donnie Darko.
The daughter was also forced to read another book Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A., a memoir by former gang member Luis Rodriguez. Other school districts banned the book calling it pornographic.

I feel sorry for this young girl. At 15, she was thrown into a situation she wasn't ready to handle. The Lewis's allege that school officials "are responsible for the "emotional kidnapping and psychological rape" of his daughter's "Christian innocence," and are now questioning the officials judgement. But why not the judgement of their own daughter and their own? Why didn't she speak up and walk out? The fact of the matter is, very few are mature or strong enough to handle these situations without being negatively affected. Now, after the fact they question the school's judgement. What were they thinking before this happened? That the school had their child's best interest in mind? I'm sorry if that sounds a bit harsh. But I just don't understand the mindset of Christians in this day putting their children in these situations and then suing after the fact.

Like many Christians they were probably fooled into believing their daughter could be "salt and light" and come out unharmed. That argument is false and runs contrary to scripture.
"He who walks with the wise, becomes wiser still but the companion of fools suffers harm."
A young child's role is NOT as a redeemer. Their time has not yet come.

An from the state's perspective the parents have no right to object. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled last year,
parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students. Finally, we hold that the defendants' actions were rationally related to a legitimate state purpose. (PDF).
Since this is back-to-school season, I feel it's my duty to help parents understand their rights as defined by the court. So as an act of public service I will once again read parents their rights, because no one else will.


Parent or legal guardian; As you enroll your child in our government system of state indoctrination we are required to inform you of your rights...

You have the right to remain silent. Do you understand?

Everything you say and do will be ignored anyway. So don't waste your breath. Do you understand?

You have the right to an attorney. But don't waste your money either. Most judges are on our side. They know how they got elected or appointed. Long live the NEA! Do you understand?

You have no right to due process or privacy. Just bake cookies (no nuts please!) and attend the PTO meetings and we'll get along just fine. Do you understand?

You have no right to object to any material we present to your child. Everything we teach is pursuant to legitimate educational as well as health and welfare interests of the state. Do you understand?

We will use the full power of the court to establish that the interests of the state are more important than your interest as a parent. All at taxpayer expense. (That means you.) Do you understand?

We realize that it may seem awkward to give up control of your child's education. But think about how many more hours in the day you will now be free to pursue your own interests. More importantly, the state is now free teach your child exactly what he needs to do to be a good worker in the global economy. Congratulations! You have just been liberated from your primary obligation as a parent. Go in peace.

Here's an interesting debate between Spunky and Dr. Beam about Christian children being "salt and light" in the public school.
Christians Are Needed in the Public Schools (Dr. Beam)
Another Pastor Speaks Against Homeschooling (My response.)
Dr. Beams Responds
How Should Christians Educate Their Children? (My response.)

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