Emmaus High School students in April were forced to watch videos selected by the Gay-Straight Alliance. However, when parents requested to see the videos after several students reportedly felt bullied and uncomfortable, they were denied.
“My son expressed to me that he felt bullied by the administration for being a heterosexual man and being forced to listen to LGBT advocacy on a daily basis,” one parent wrote in a letter to the school district.
The East Penn School District claimed that the videos, which were shown daily during announcements, were about anti-bullying and the LGBT movement. However, parents are arguing that the videos were more about indoctrination.
“This is a gross violation of parental rights,” Liberty Counsel attorney Richard Mast wrote in a June 22 letter to Supt. Michael Schilder.
Law firms on behalf of the parents are requesting that the school district immediately release what they called the “four pro-homosexuality” videos shown to students as part of the district’s “Unity Week” and “Day of Silence” activities.
“Since when does a public school in the United States of America have the right to block a parent and tell them they will not allow them to see the controversial partisan programming they are requiring their children to watch,” another parent asked in a letter to the district. “We have every right to expect that our children are not being subjected to partisan indoctrination in our public schools.”
In response to the requests by parents the Supt. Michael Schilder stated that the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance compiled the videos as part of a student project which apparently makes them off-limits to parents.
“Student work and student expression must always be protected,” he told The Morning Call. “A parent or member of the public has no right to view or access a student’s term paper, speech, or multimedia project just because he or she objects to the topic.”
While the rights of students should entirely be protected as the Supt. claims; however, the issue is that the products of the “alliance” were then used to, as the parents claim, indoctrinate other children.
Parents later said that they have absolutely no control over what their children are exposed to at the local school.
“I was told by the superintendent (that) parents have no right to view these videos,” one person said in documents provided by Liberty Counsel. “I would appreciate knowing why I was not afforded the opportunity to opt my son out of this targeted, planned, social engineering.”
“For the record, neither Liberty Counsel nor parents who have contacted us object to the District promoting kindness amongst students or fighting actual bullying where it exists or promoting a ‘Unity Week’ that does not delve into matters of sexuality,” Mast wrote in his letter to the superintendent.
The law firm familiar with the matter, Liberty Counsel, is threatening legal action should the school district fail to release the videos to parents.
“The law is clear that parents, not agents of the state, including teachers, and certainly not GLSEN or its teacher or student affiliates with the GSA, have the right to direct the upbringing and associations of minor children,” Mast wrote.
Liberty Counsel president Mat Staver told the Todd Starnes Radio show there is no doubt the school district is trying to indoctrinate students.
“It is troubling that the school district intentionally hides its LGBT indoctrination from the parents,” Staver said. “The school district has harmed students with its radical LGBT propaganda.”