The Independence Law Center helps school districts craft amendments to protect students and parents

March 19 – Controversy broke out last night in the West Shore School District, just south of Harrisburg, when the school board directors had a closed door meeting with the Independence Law Center. 

The law center has helped other PA school districts create policy and amendments that spell out what books will be approved for distribution, as well as use of preferred pronouns in the district. 

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “The ILC group helps give parents more choice in their child’s education and we’re talking about books, and what’s going on in some of the pages in the graphics of some of these books and also pronouns. The school board president is looking to insulate against some liabilities, an interesting angle there and also increase trust. There’s a whole bunch of folks that don’t like the ILC.” 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “Well, this is a noteworthy story because it’s the first case I’m aware of and certainly here in Central PA that you have a school district that is employing an outside vendor like this to come in and assist with these kinds of policies. What jumped off the page to me is one of the things that the school board is citing is that they want to try to insulate themselves from potential future liability because we know in this environment we’re in, there’s just been so much litigation when it comes to maybe books or other school policies and they apparently believe that this outside vendor, this law center, could help them if someone were to try to file an action. So that is interesting to me. No idea, though, how these two came together. I mean, how did the school district get linked up with this independent Law Center? I also don’t know what kind of a track record this law center might have. Remember this is a school district, it’s Cumberland and York County. It’s largely on the Cumberland County side. So these are our neighbors. It’s not that far away. To the extent that it’s happening here in Central PA, I think people need to be aware of it because if this takes off and if West Shore finds that it’s been successful, why wouldn’t you see other school districts possibly try to do the same thing?”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM noted, “Looking at the independence Law Center and what they stand for and they are offering their services, maybe that’s how that came to the attention of the school district and they’re offering to work pro bono. Self evident truth is their motto. We are starting to realize we are having belief systems versus belief systems. In some cases I see where looking to protect Christian schools and what they’re trying to do because Christian schools identify themselves as a Christian schools. You know you’re getting that ideology there and you would accept that, but they’re having issues now at some of these schools. Why? Because some courts have completely confused us between what we can say is reality, what we say is a belief system. The activism of the LGBTQ group and that’s an activist group. That’s not just a community because there’s plenty of people who are same sex attracted that don’t go with the ideas of the LGBTQ ideology. This is based on the idea that there’s a gender spectrum and people are starting to realize wait a minute, we’ve been kind of duped. There’s no scientific evidence about there being more than two sexes. This is more of a belief system that has been imposed through ideas like equity, through ideas like LGBTQ. We can’t even define what trans actually means these days. It’s inconsistent. So people are starting to realize we’re having belief systems that are imposing themselves on people who just want to accept science and reality and then they’re getting into trouble for doing it. So this center is saying, hey, we’ve got to realize this is going to start falling into more and more lawsuits and you better make sure you understand that, all institutions, as you move forward.”

Barkdoll said, “There’s where I think the value could be as a school district because again, we know all of these cases that seem to find their way into court for all those issues that you just ticked off there. Well, if you’re a school district and you’ve been offered pro bono legal services from one of these outside vendors that say we can help insulate you from future claims by getting in front of this now, by implementing some rules and policies, that to me may be very smart. So I’ll be curious to see what comes out of this with West Shore.”