Ever eager to serve, the Article 8/MassResistance folk have the nine pager up for your perusal. They also offer the related documents, including the amicus filing.
Sinsheimer is clearly an excitable and emotional guy. He can hardly stay in his chair while others speak. Unfortunately his counter-counter-arguments here fall into did-not/did-too class.
- Separate, new limits for these very young children. Despite the reading materials in questions that mention or allude to marriage equality here where it is legal being at age-appropriate in level, schools should not expose kindergarten and primary kids to mentions of it.
- Conflicts between parental belief and curricula must lean to the parents, even it that means separating their kids in school as needed. If parents say a concept "offended their faith," the school must accommodate them. (I think that is called theocracy, but so what?)
- Regardless of the ACLU saying that parents have some rights in school, they really mean that parents have no rights that go over the school threshold. (Don't claim school systems have rights and duties too. Parents rule. Nay nay nay.)
- It is not enough to say that the parents can exercise their religious upbringing out of school. He briefly states that this is a constitutional privacy right in school.
That just screams pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain. Yet, this is a federal suit, not traffic court.
He also tried some hand waving, apparently to try to erase some of the original case's more absurd demands for remedy. Take the requirement that even spontaneous classroom conversations initiated by classmates should trigger removing the Mad Dad kids. In this document, Sinsheimer writes, "Noting in the complaint is directed at children. The defendants and the ACLU have sought to alter the discussion by suggesting that the plaintiffs wish to chill the rights of other children to talk about their families. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Yet the heart of the complaint and subsequent filings for the plaintiffs is their assertion that the early-reader books in question and any related diversity curricula have evil intent. As Sinsheimer wrote here, "The adult plaintiffs fear that their families' deep, sincere and abiding faith will be eradicated..." Later in the filing, he added, "The defendants' sole motivation is their own political determination that the Plaintiffs' faith should be eradicated, and the place to start this process is with their children."
That kind of crazy speak and mind reading probably deserves a dope slap more than serious consideration. However, Chief Justice Mark L. Wolf loves constitutional issues. Sinsheimer is making increasingly hard to take the arguments seriously.
During the orals last week, Wolf ask whether the complaining parents couldn't and shouldn't show and tell their own morals, and more than counter the school and commonwealth's position that same-sex marriage is the reality in Massachusetts. He said that he'd like to hear from the plaintiffs on these issues, but Sinsheimer has given him no more that a 50% incentive to allow a trial. Even Judge Wolf would need some sense that the plaintiffs' had a shot.
I have no doubt there are topics in addition to same-sex marriage that those parents don't want to discuss with their kids. As a parent of three, I can tell them surely that they and their kids will be much better off discussing moral and other issues rather than ignoring them or pretending all that kids learn will be in Sunday School.
As a judgmental person, I might add that they have an asthenic and sad little faith if it cannot stand up to such weak challenges as hearing that some families have two mommies. If that eradicates their faith, they'd be better off with a stronger one.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, same sex marriage, Lexington, public schools, parental notification