Minnesota Moms Will Get to Choose What Their Kids Learn in School

February 16, 2024
Minnesota Moms Choose What Their Kids Learn | First Liberty Insider

by Jorge Gomez • 4 min read

Your gifts to First Liberty are making a huge difference in the lives of everyday Americans. This week, some moms in Minnesota got a big win.

Six families in the suburbs of Minneapolis will be able to continue raising their kids consistent with their faith. The St. Louis Park Public School District will allow our clients to opt their children out of sexually based materials being taught in English classes.

First Liberty has represented the families since last year, along with Renee Carlson, our volunteer attorney at True North Legal. Our clients are devout Muslim families who immigrated from war-torn Somalia. Religious freedom and educational opportunities are among the most significant reasons why they came to the United States.

Just like you, and countless families across the country, these parents believe they have an obligation to raise their children consistent with their faith. All they asked for was prior notice and the ability to opt out from books that discuss sexual orientation or gender identity. But the district denied their requests.

Our attorneys sent two letters to school district officials. We explained that their denials violated state law and the First Amendment.

“Diversity and inclusion must extend to religious families, too,” First Liberty attorney Kayla Toney explained. “This is why the First Amendment specifically protects religious exercise.”

The ability to opt out means the kids won’t be force-fed a radical ideology when they go to school. And for the parents, it means they’ll have the freedom to know what their kids are learning and ensure that they are not exposed to materials that violate their faith in school.

This is not just a win for the six families we represent. Because we fought for them, the school district now has a process where any family can request opt-outs and alternative learning. And it’s not just for elementary school students. The middle school and high school are granting opt-out requests as well.

A couple of the moms shared how meaningful this is for their families:

“We believe that we have a sacred obligation to teach the principles of our faith to our children without being undermined by the schools. We are grateful to First Liberty for helping us and to the school for recognizing the importance of our faith.” – Fatuma Irshat

“We came to America because of its rich heritage of protecting religious liberty and the opportunity to raise our children in a place where they have access to success. We were shocked that our children were being taught material that violates our beliefs, but we’re grateful that the school has granted our opt-out requests.” – Hodan Hassan

What an encouraging win for religious liberty! When parents in one Minnesota school district win, then Americans of all faith traditions win. As religious parents, getting to choose what our kids see and learn in school is what religious freedom and educational opportunity are all about.

YOU play such an important role in winning these cases. Thank you for your all-around support. You can’t imagine how much it means to every client—and to us—when you give your time, your prayers, your encouragement and your donations.

YOU are the one helping moms, dads and kids all across the country get their freedom back.

Impact Opportunity: California Families Still Need Your Help

P.S.: You helped deliver freedom for the moms in Minnesota. But so many more families are still fighting and searching for that win that will set them free.

If you’re looking for another opportunity to impact real families, the Woolard, Gonzales and Dodson families in California need your help. The state won’t let them choose a religious curriculum for their kids. We’re fighting this case in federal court.

Give to First Liberty today—and you can help us win for them too.

Learn More:

Religious Families Urge Minnesota School District to Opt-Out Their Kids from LGBTQ Curriculum

Will Supreme Court Protect Parents Who Want to Raise Children Consistent with Their Faith?

First Liberty Stands with California Mom at the U.S. Supreme Court

California Won’t Let These Families Choose a Religious Education

From California to Maine, Some States Really Seem to Dislike Religious Education

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