Mormon Family Lose Lawsuit Against Utah School After Son Had Sex With Girlfriend in the School Parking Lot

It was the last week of school and Skyridge High School wasn’t taking attendance. Under an end-of-year tradition in the Alpine School District, kids could leave after two hours of class. Some teens lingered in the halls. One student, his parents said they later learned, used the unsupervised time in May 2022 to have sex with his girlfriend three times during school hours, in the last week, in the parking lot of the Lehi campus.

On Wednesday of the last week of school, JD’s mother arrived to poke around and check him out, but office staff told her students were not in their classrooms. After JD didn’t respond to an announcement to come to the office, his mother went looking for him, the decision said — and she found him in the parking lot only after calling his girlfriend.

So the Latter-day Saint couple, whose faith prohibits premarital sex, sued the district and some administrators, arguing that their constitutional rights to parent their child and freedom of religion had been violated. U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish has now given those claims a failing grade, in a decision released earlier this month and first reported in the Axios Salt Lake City newsletter.


The parents’ lawsuit argues that the school’s lax rules “inflicted emotional harm on their son and deprived them of their parental and religious rights.”

According to the lawsuit, the father and mother had previously discovered that their son was having sex with his girlfriend – and placed restrictions on his activity in an attempt to prevent him from continuing to sleep with her.

The boy always had to be accompanied by other people while with his girlfriend, and his parents made him walk to and from school with his older sibling to avoid falling prey to pre-martial sex.


The Honorable U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish (Obama)

The judge’s decision in part:

The Does’ claim under the Free Exercise Clause fails because they have not alleged that the Alpine School District coerced them to abandon a religious tenet or belief. First, the school district did not coerce JD into acting against his religious beliefs. He freely chose to have premarital sex with his girlfriend, even though this was against the teachings of his religion. 

Second, the Alpine School District did not coerce the Does to act contrary to their religious principles. The Does allege that they have a religious duty to encourage JD to abstain from premarital sex. The district did nothing to pressure or force the Does to refrain from passing on those teachings to her son. The Does instead argue that the district’s policies allowed JD a window of opportunity to have sex, thwarting their attempts to prevent him from doing so. In essence, the Does assert that the Alpine School District did not do enough to help them perform their religious obligations. But the Free Exercise Clause does not impose such a duty on government entities….

Religion Clause

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