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Judge Says Parent’s Expressing Concern About Homosexual Teacher Not A Reason To Deny Student Reenrollment

September 19, 2005

Olympia, WA. – An administrative law judge in Olympia, Washington has set aside a Kent School District decision denying reenrollment to a student whose parent expressed concerns about a homosexual teacher teaching a sex education class.

The student, Lucas Schrader, had been enrolled in Kent Mt. View Academy, a charter school in the Kent School District, for three years. Because Lucas lives in another school district, his parents were required to apply each year for Lucas’ admission to the school. Lucas had flourished at the school and Mrs. Schrader was extremely active in serving the school.

At the close of school this year Mr. Schrader learned that a homosexual teacher had been assigned to teach a sex education class for this fall. Mr. Schrader expressed concerns he had about this to Debbie Dempsey, Kent Mt. View Academy’s principal. Ms. Dempsey responded by denying the Schrader’s application for reenrollment for this school year. Administrative Law Judge Cindy L. Burdue found that “the principal’s denial of the parents’ application was based entirely upon the statements of [Mr. Schrader] to the Principal.�

The Schrader’s were represented by Brian Fahling, senior trial attorney for the American Family Association Center for Law & Policy. Fahling said “Mr. Schrader is a concerned parent whose child was punished merely because he expressed concerns about the wisdom of having a homosexual teacher assigned to teach sex education to sixth graders.�

The judge, in ordering Lucas to be admitted to the school, wrote, “The principal, as far as the evidence shows, made up a policy and followed it as she went in this matter.� Fahling observed, “It is unfortunate how reactionary some school administrators become whenever parents express concerns about homosexuality.� “I hope the Schrader’s willingness to stand up against this type of heavy-handedness will encourage other parents to do the same,� Fahling added.

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