ADL Hails Appeals Court Ruling Affirming Multiculturalism in Lexington Public Schools
BOSTON, MA, January 31, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hailed today's unanimous decision by the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals in Parker v. Hurley "as a victory for diversity in American society." The Court upheld the Lexington Public School's right to include books teaching about different types of people and families, including families with parents from the same gender, in its required elementary curriculum.
Robert Trestan, ADL's Eastern States Civil Rights Counsel, said in a statement:
The court's ruling in favor of the Lexington Public Schools is a victory for diversity in American society. Teaching about diversity is of critical importance to creating an open and welcoming society. Such lessons are most effective when the training begins in students' formative years.
ADL's experience running nationally celebrated diversity education programs has demonstrated that once students are educated regarding diversity, they can be powerful agents of change in their school environment.
We hope this unanimous decision will allow the Lexington Public Schools to concentrate on their mission of educating the town's children to be successful citizens in a modern multi-cultural society.
ADL filed a brief in the case supporting the school system against a challenge from parents who did not want their children to read books in school that discussed families with gay parents. Lexington prevailed in U.S. District Court, but the parents appealed that decision. Writing for the Appeals Court, Judge Sandra L. Lynch said the parents did not have the legal right "to be free from any reference in public elementary schools to the existence of families in which the parents are of different gender combinations."
The brief was prepared by the law firm of Ropes and Gray.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.