Equity & Diversity News in Brief

Parents Lose Federal Challenge on Gay-Tolerant School Materials

By Mark Walsh — February 05, 2008 1 min read

A federal appeals court last week ruled against two Massachusetts families who objected to their children being exposed in public school to books and discussions promoting tolerance for gay marriage and families led by same-sex couples.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, in Boston, ruled unanimously that the Lexington, Mass., school system did not violate the rights of the parents or children by exposing them to books they found objectionable on religious grounds. There was no word late last week on whether the families plan to appeal.

In its lengthy opinion on Jan. 31 in Parker v. Hurley, the 1st Circuit panel said, “Public schools are not obliged to shield individual students from ideas which potentially are religiously offensive, particularly when the school imposes no requirement that the student agree with or affirm those ideas.”

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See other stories on education issues in Massachusetts. See data on Massachusetts’ public school system.

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A version of this article appeared in the February 06, 2008 edition of Education Week

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