Court says schools can ask about sex
Published 12:17 am Monday, November 14, 2005
I was outraged by the recent ruling of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stating that parents no longer have a say in what public schools teach their students.
You may have heard that the court held “that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs.”
The case involved parents who sued their local school district after their first, third and fifth grade children were given a survey containing graphic questions about sex.
The survey asked questions such as whether the children ever thought about having sex or touching other people's “private parts” and whether they could “stop thinking about having sex.” These were questions asked to first graders!
The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit has a history of legislating from the bench. The most notable example is the 2002 decision that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because it contains the phrase “under God.” Thankfully, the decision was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The House is taking steps to split this overburdened court, thereby creating new vacancies for President Bush to fill. This plan would create a new 12th Circuit consisting of Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, leaving the 9th Circuit with California, Hawaii, Guam, and the Northern Marianas Islands.
I am hopeful that the president will fill the four longstanding vacancies currently open on the 9th Circuit, and I encourage him to continue appointing the strong, constitutionally-minded justices he has in the past.
Last week the House passed the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005. The legislation was passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's narrowly-decided Kelo vs. New London case, which ruled that a property's potential for economic improvement outweighs an individual's right to his property.
The House legislation enhances the penalty for states and localities that abuse their eminent domain power.
My staff and I work for you. Please call if we can be of service.
Jo Bonner represents the people of this area in the U.S. H ouse of Representatives.