In Jones v. Boulder Valley School District RE-2, (D CO, Oct. 4, 2021), a Colorado federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing a suit by parents of three elementary school students who contended that their free exercise and equal protection rights, as well as their parental rights to control the upbringing of their children, were violated when the school instituted a program to teach tolerance and understanding of transgender individuals that conflicted with the parents religious beliefs.
Plaintiffs … emphasize that all they want is proper advance notice and the ability to opt-out of transgender programming as provided for by Colorado law…. The problem is that the federal constitution does not mandate advance notice or the ability to opt out of particular classes or programs, and especially not from particular classroom discussions. The federal constitution protects religious children and families by ensuring that a state cannot punish them if they choose to educate their children outside the public system, whether at home or at areligious school. But the federal constitution gives parents no First Amendment or due process right to direct to what is taught in the schools based on their own personal religious beliefs, nor does the federal constitution mandate the right to a religious “opt-out” option from particular classes or specific programming. From the federal constitutional perspective …, it is up to the local school district to decide what is taught and at what age….
A Notice of Settlement was filed with the court on Nov. 15, and the case was terminated.