please be informed before jumping on parental rights bandwagon

I have been hearing lots of hype about the Parental Rights Amendment and, as many of you probably have, watched this video clip making its way around the internet. I would encourage you to be as informed as possible about this movement before signing on to it, promoting it, or donating to it. Here is the clip:

YouTube Preview Image

The following is a well-reasoned assessment of this amendment written by Christine Field, homeschooling mom, author, and attorney with Homeschool Legal Advantage.

The Parental Rights Amendment

Homeschool Legal Advantage has taken a position that it will take no action in supporting the Parental Rights Amendment (see ParentalRights.org). While the campaign for its adoption is well-funded and tugs the heart-strings of all parents to support its introduction and passage, the campaign does not disclose the back story behind the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA).

What it is?

The Parental Rights Amendment is a proposal to amend the United States Constitution in response to a perceived threat from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The United Nations adopted the Convention in 1989, and all members of the United Nations (including the Middle Eastern countries) support it, except for Somalia and the United States.

The PRA is an attempt to place a huge bandage over a wound that has not yet been inflicted. It is being marketed to parents as the immediate solution to an immediate threat. It would be interesting to learn how many of its supporters actually understand what it would take to amend the United States Constitution.

What would the PRA take for passage?

A successful amendment to the US Constitution is extremely unlikely. First, it
must be approved by 2/3rds of the Senate, and then approved by the states. A long, unlikely
road lies ahead for this well-intentioned amendment. (See note below.) Yet, we
are being rallied on all sides to pressure our legislators and to send our contributions to support this cause. From CSPAN: “Since 1789, over 10,000 amendments to the Constitution have
been proposed in Congress. Of those, only 33 were sent to the states for
ratification, and only 27 were ultimately ratified. ” (From note below)

While supporting the PRA makes a great photo opportunity for politicians and provides great copy for the legislator’s newsletters to the constituents, it is likely an exercise in futility. The threat to parental rights has been addressed in the Courts. The United States Supreme Court has addressed the issue of parental rights in numerous cases. The right to homeschool and the religious freedom we enjoy have been litigated and parents have won. They have ruled that parents have a “fundamental right” to teach their own children. That right is already firmly ensconced in our legal tradition and precedent.

Summary of our questioning the PRA

1. It is unlikely it will pass. Like so many well-intentioned movements it is not likely to endure the rigors on the path to ratification.

2. It is not necessary. We already have recognized fundamental right to direct and control the upbringing of our children through the decisions of the United States Supreme Court.

How should we respond to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

If the CRC is ever called to a vote or comes to the attention of the Nation, a call or letter to your senators and representatives is definitely in order – and it’s FREE to express your opposition. You don’t have to sign a petition or pledge contributions. Focus on monitoring and opposing the CRC, rather than proposing a Constitutional amendment.

It is a more prudent and productive move to rally fellow parents to urge legislators to NOT support the CRC, if and when it ever arises to that level of consideration. Interestingly, it is not the subject of much interest or debate outside of the old guard circle of homeschoolers. It makes logical sense to first attempt to resolve the CRC before we ask THE ENTIRE NATION to vote on a constitutional amendment to protect us from the CRC.

What if the CRC becomes controlling authority?

Should we be fearful for the future of our parental rights in this country? We can take a posture of fear and intimidation or we can persevere with a sense of vigilance. When any convention or law threatens to compromise our freedoms, the best response is to homeschool with integrity and pray for our country. It’s what most of us have been doing all along.

Christine Field
www.HomeschoolLegalAdvantage.com
www.MomLifeNavigator.com

Footnote: From CSPAN

Debating proposals to amend the Constitution is one thing; however actually amending it is another. Since 1789, over 10,000 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed in Congress. Of those, only 33 were sent to the states for ratification, and only 27 were ultimately ratified. The number of proposed amendments to the Constitution has actually gone down
during the last decade:

Congress Number of Proposed Amendments
106th (1999) 60
105th (1997-98) 103
104th (1995-96) 158
103rd (1993-94) 156
102nd (1991-92) 165
101st (1989-90) 214

Examples of prominent amendments in recent years which received much
congressional attention but failed to survive the process include the Flag
Desecration Amendment, the Balanced Budget Amendment, the Equal Rights
Amendment, a Term Limits Amendment, and a School Prayer Amendment.

I would also encourage you to listen to the August 15 and 21, 2010 podcasts on the 2009 Leadership Summit if you have not already. HSLDA, who is promoting and sponsoring the Parental Rights Amendment, was well- represented at this conference. I see many parallels in the agenda this conference outlined and the goals of the PRA.

 photo Blog__Sidebar_Hello_zps79b9481b.png

Comments

  1. says

    I encourage you to do some serious research into this issue. Don’t take Homeschool Legal Advantage’s arguments against the Parental Rights Amendment for granted. And keep in mind that the article has been around for quite some time, so it doesn’t take into account the present status of the Amendment, etc.

    The article leads off with the accusation that “the campaign does not disclose the back story behind the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA).” This makes it sound like ParentalRights.org is hiding something. The author then proposes to disclose the *shocking* news that this campaign for an Amendment is really about the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. If you examine the ParentalRights.org website, you’ll find that there is a wealth of information on there about the threat of the UNCRC. So the fact that that is one thrust of the campaign is no secret to ParentalRights.org’s supporters. The author then moves on to attack either the intelligence of ParentalRights.org’s supporters, or the honesty of the organization, or both, when she writes that “It would be interesting to learn how many of its supporters actually understand what it would take to amend the United States Constitution.” In fact, the organization’s website details the process of passing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Again, the author’s statements are unfounded.

    The author also ignores something very important: the Domestic Threat.If you examine the ParentalRights.org website, you will find that it is not all about the International Threat. Instead, there is also a wealth of information about how federal and state laws and courts are working to undermine the rights of parents. This is the more immediate threat (more on that later). With that said, thanks to ParentalRights.org, HSLDA, and other groups, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is dead in the water, for now. HLA may say it’s not an immediate threat, but they have the other groups to thank for that. It is only because of their political activism that there are still so many people in Congress who oppose the CRC, despite the fact that the rest of the world has gone the other direction on the issue.

    The next line of argument deals with the practicality of passing the Parental Rights Amendment. I take issue with this being the bulk of their argument against the Parental Rights Amendment. The primary question must be “should we do this?” not “how possible is this?” HLA makes a big deal about just trusting God and not being afraid of threats to parental rights, but they don’t seem to have a lot of faith when it comes right down to overcoming huge odds. Now, thanks to a recent Zogby poll (check out ParentalRights.org for more info), we know that a landslide majority of Americans supports the concept of a Parental Rights Amendment, and Americans are nearly unanimous in their opposition to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. We now know that Americans are more unified on the parental rights issue than on any other issue. So we have the grassroots support available to push forward an Amendment. Secondly, we are poised to become the piece of legislation with the most cosponsors in the U.S. House in the next session (there are 142+ at this point). The Balanced Budget Amendment currently has the most cosponsors of any proposed amendment currently in existence. What has taken it’s supporters 20 years or so to do, ParentalRights.org accomplished in less than three years. The Parental Rights Amendment has the support of multiple state legislatures, and a constantly expanding base of supporters and volunteers all over the country. And with the upsurge of conservative activism and the midterm elections swaying Congress in a more family-friendly direction, the Amendment’s success is now very likely. ParentalRights.org expects to pass the Amendment through the U.S. House in the spring.

    This brings us to the next argument HLA poses: that the Amendment is unnecessary because American parents are perfectly safe already. They write, “While supporting the PRA makes a great photo opportunity for politicians and provides great copy for the legislator’s newsletters to the constituents, it is likely an exercise in futility. The threat to parental rights has been addressed in the Courts. The United States Supreme Court has addressed the issue of parental rights in numerous cases. The right to homeschool and the religious freedom we enjoy have been litigated and parents have won. They have ruled that parents have a “fundamental right” to teach their own children. That right is already firmly ensconced in our legal tradition and precedent.” That parents have won and the danger is over is patently untrue. Every day, the rights of millions of parents are infringed upon, and we have to act to prevent that. And we’re not just talking about homeschooling, but about all rights that all parents should enjoy. HLA is right about US Supreme Court precedent, but only up until Troxel v. Granville (2000), which has lead to a rash of federal court decisions that undermine and diminish the rights of parents to the upbringing and education of their children. Most parents are unaware of these dangers. That’s what the new documentary is for. It will explain a variety of the threats (courts, CPS, federal laws, etc.) that face parents every day.

    Finally, HLA posits that fighting a defensive war is the best measure. If we just lobby our congressmen every time they are about to pass a bad law, we’ll remain free to do as we please, they say. But that’s the approach that’s been taken on the marriage issue, for instance, and look how successful that’s been. Not. ParentalRights.org takes a different approach. This is a country of “We the People,” with a Constitution designed to limit the government. The government insists on undermining parents at every turn, so we ought to create another check on their power to keep them from infringing on parents. In addition, when we have placed parental rights in the Constitution, the likelihood that our courts and legislatures will uphold them is much, much greater. Parental rights will no longer be *theoretically* protected by the Constitution (as they are currently, subject to the changing winds of interpretation), they will be *undeniably* protected by the Constitution.

    The author closes her piece with a plea for positive thinking. She writes, “Should we be fearful for the future of our parental rights in this country? We can take a posture of fear and intimidation or we can persevere with a sense of vigilance. When any convention or law threatens to compromise our freedoms, the best response is to homeschool with integrity and pray for our country.” Simply avoiding feelings of fear or concern does not make one’s problems go away. There are real threats to parental rights today. Simply having a “sense of vigilance” is not the same thing as doing something about those threats. In a non-democratic country, sometimes all one can do is pray, but in this country, Christians should also view their ability to impact the political process as a stewardship issue. If you can help build a fortress of protection around parental rights, shouldn’t you do that? If you do not, you leave parental rights on open ground, ready to be swept away at any moment.

    Again, I encourage you to research this for yourself. And feel free to contact anyone at ParentalRights.org. They’d be happy to answer your questions.

  2. says

    Dark Knight,

    Could you please sign your real full name to this comment since your e-mail shows that you represent the organization in question? Thanks.

  3. says

    Dark Knight,

    You say “There are real threats to parental rights today..” Could you please elaborate and substantiate with data? I think this would be helpful. Thanks.

  4. says

    The freedom to a fair and open debate on the issues is a cornerstone of our freedom. Interesting that “Dark Knight” does not choose to identify himself, as have so many commentators in favor of the PRA. Also interesting that when offered an opportunity to participate in a printed point/counter-point on the issue in a major national homeschooling magazine Mr. Farris declined to do so. Mr. Gibbs, attorney and founder of Homeschool Legal Advantage is always ready to have a clear, gentlemanly and open conversation on this issue. PRA supporters need to come out from behind the Old Guard HSLDA curtain and engage in a debate with others because they no longer represent or support the views of all modern homeschoolers.

  5. says

    Karen, I am glad that you posted this. I, too, wish that Dark Knight would be forthcoming with data and real examples. The fact that Mr. Farris would turn down such an incredible opportunity is amazing to me. If this is so important, I would think he would jump on the chance to show everyone!

    I STILL have not had time to finish wading through the Summit mp3’s. I have not given up, but just have been swamped with life. This reminds me, though, to get back to it! I had gotten through the first two and had started on Doug Phillips’ presentation. As I wrote to you before, I do wonder about some things, but need to hear the rest.

    Thank you for your vigilence, Karen. Thank you, too, for being willing to show both sides of this issue. We need to make up our own minds…NOT be told what to think! Hmmm…that is one of the reasons I home educate our son! 🙂

  6. says

    “PRA supporters need to come out from behind the Old Guard HSLDA curtain and engage in a debate with others because they no longer represent or support the views of all modern homeschoolers.”

    Christine, THIS is absolutely correct and I am always so troubled when the self-appointed leadership in homeschooling acts as though they are speaking for all of us. I sincerely am hoping that Mr. Farris will reconsider a discussion on the PRA with Mr. Gibbs. Homeschooling families will work hard and sacrifice many things to stand for what they believe will benefit children. But they first deserve to have all the details in front of them. “Dark Knight” needs to give us something concrete to help us understand the “impending” danger we are in as parents.

  7. says

    Karen,
    My apologies for coming across as deceptive. This is actually the first time that I’ve used an alias online when discussing parental rights, and perhaps it’s the last. 🙂 I am not afraid of what people think of me, or what they know about me (my facebook profile is here: http://www.facebook.com/jonathanhortonpro). I am the National Grassroots Director at ParentalRights.org, and anyone may email me here: jonathan@parentalrights.org. But my job is not all of who I am. As a well-educated young man with a penchant for debate who has dedicated his life to protecting the family, I wanted to be able to debate the merits of the arguments put forth by HLA as a private citizen, in order to avoid being immediately and uncharitably written off as one who has drunk the Kool-Aid and can’t be trusted. I guess that was wishful thinking. 🙂 Interesting that none of my points were actually addressed by any of the posters, with the exception of my remark about there being a domestic threat, to which the response was “prove it!” I am happy to oblige.

    Christine Fields wrote: “Interesting that “Dark Knight” does not choose to identify himself, as have so many commentators in favor of the PRA.” “So many commentators”? Like who? How about all those who openly support us, like Edwin Meese of the Heritage Foundation (President Reagan’s Attorney General), Dr. John Rosemond, and Dr. James Dobson, among others? It’s convenient for you to brush ParentalRights.org aside as a shady group hiding behind homeschoolers, but we have national recognition in our own right, and our ranks include thousands of people outside homeschooling circles. As National Grassroots Director, it’s my job to know who our supporters are, to work with them, provide what they need, etc. So you can take it from me that the Parental Rights Amendment isn’t about HSLDA. It’s about Americans from all walks of life taking a stand to protect their parental rights.

    Now for the domestic threat:
    1. Federal courts consistently deny that parental rights deserve protection as a “fundamental right.” In the last Supreme Court decision on parental rights, Troxel v. Granville (2000), the Supreme Court split six different ways. Only Justice Thomas held that parental rights were a fundamental right and used the normal test (strict judicial scrutiny) associated with any fundamental right. As a result of this confusion, the lower federal courts have rapidly eradicated the idea that parental rights deserve the same level of protection as freedom of speech or other fundamental rights. All of the legal rules become stacked against the parent when their claims are evaluated as a non-fundamental right, and in virtually every case parents lose.

    2. Current law on parental rights does not allow parents to protect their children from outlandish assemblies in public schools. In Brown v. Hot, Sexy and Safer Productions, Inc. (1995), the First Court of Appeals denied that the Constitution gives parents any right to know about or control their children’s attendance at a “sexually explicit” presentation in a public school assembly.

    3. Current law on parental rights does not allow parents of a kindergarten student to know about or have the right to opt out of indoctrination in homosexual rights and practices. In Parker v. Hurley, 514 F. 3d 87 (2008), a federal appeals court found that parents who oppose a particular part of the curriculum on moral grounds do not have a right to opt out their child, or to be informed in advance of the curriculum content. The court held that this does not violate parental freedoms, because parents who do not like the curriculum can send a child to private school or educate their child at home (though their tax burden will not be lightened for opting out of public schools). The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review this holding.

    4. Current law on parental rights does not allow parents to stop public schools from giving condoms to their children. While a child can’t have an aspirin without parental permission and the cooperation of the school nurse, schools can distribute condoms without parental consent. In Parents United for
    Better Schools, Inc. v. School District of Philadelphia, 148 F. 3d 260 (1998), the federal appeals court denied standing to the parents filing suit, because the court found the school district to be “promoting public health” when it distributes prophylactics to students without parental consent.

    5. Current law on parental rights tells parents that they have no say over their children once they enter the door of a public school. In Fields v. Palmdale School District, 427 F. 3d 1197 (2005), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “affirm[ed] that the [fundamental parental] right does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door.” This case involved an outrageous survey about the values and attitudes of children and their parents. Numerous school boards have determined that parents do not even have a constitutional right to be present on the school grounds where their child attends.
    See http://www.erusd.k12.ca.us/ERUSDPolicies/1250.pdf or http://sweetstevens.com/articles/documents/PrntlRghtsClassVisit.pdf for examples.

    6. Current law on parental rights gives the public schools, not parents, the power to determine how children use some of their out-of-school hours. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found in Herndon v. Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Bd. Of Educ. (1996) that “the district’s community service requirement [demanding 50 hours of community service prior to graduation] does not intrude on the student’s freedom from involuntary servitude, their right to privacy, or their parents’ right to direct their upbringing and education.” The school district made a list of acceptable community service organizations and demanded that the students “volunteer.”

    7. Current administrative law on parental rights blocks parents from seeing
    their children’s medical records and information. Many states have passed laws, and many corporations have set policies, which take advantage of the federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to remove parents from the medical care of children. In many states, parents cannot access or discuss their child’s medical records in a variety of areas, including reproductive health and drug use. These regulations make it impossible for parents to monitor and influence potentially dangerous
    health practices adopted by adolescents for whom they are still legally responsible.

    (Points copied from our “The Domestic Threat” flier. I could have typed it up in my own words, but this was simpler)

    This isn’t even the whole domestic threat. There’s also CPS/DHS/DCFS abuse:
    1. Children from poorer homes are particularly targeted (since when does being poor count as child abuse?).
    2. Children from racial minorities (particularly black families) are removed from their homes at a disproportionately high rate.
    3. State ombudsmen for CPS have reported that up to 60% of the children removed from homes in their states each year should never have been removed.
    4. Some states (KY for one) have been investigated for becoming adoption factories, removing children from families on false allegations, adopting them out in a very short period of time, and then collecting the federal bonus money.
    5. Thousands of children have died as a result of abuse they were subjected to while in the care of the state, some of whom (at the very least) were originally removed from perfectly safe homes.

    And there’s more evidence out there. I’ve only scratched the surface in this post. We have lots more information available on our website, including links and citations so that you can check things out for yourself. Our Communications and Research Department works full-time to provide you with the best available information on the issue. The upshot: Current laws, and the Constitution as it currently stands, aren’t adequate to rein in CPS, federal regulations, court decisions, etc.

    You ask for proof. I’ve given you a good pile of evidence to start with. Maybe someday I’ll write a big thick book about how we completely lost our parental rights in this country, with iron-clad proof and reams of evidence. But that’s one book I’d rather not write. So I’m going to keep answering the phone calls and emails from those whose parental rights are being abused, keep lobbying Congress, and keep bringing together millions of Americans in support of the Parental Rights Amendment. I have examined the evidence, I have made my decision, and I have committed myself entirely to this cause. My life is dedicated to protecting you and your family, regardless of the personal cost to me. I hope to see you in the trenches soon. 🙂

  8. says

    Karen (and any other homeschooling moms),
    I want to make one correction. When I said, “I hope to see you in the trenches soon,” I was referring to the political battle. I fully recognize that you are already “in the trenches” with regard to educating your children, and I want to thank you for the fine job that you do on that front.

    Keep up the good work! You are doing your children a tremendous service!

  9. says

    Nice to meet you Jonathan! We could chat back and forth here forever, but why won’t the boss debate? I know my boss has your boss’s cell phone number and I would bet, between all of us, that we could find a highly visible forum to have an open and free debate on this, rather than just forcing all the true believers to promote it.
    It costs an awful lot of money and time for the selling of the PRA, while we spend our resources defending homeschoolers and helping them solve their problems.

    Christine Field

  10. Jeanette Cole says

    Hi Jonathan:

    I agree with Christine – I would really love to see some kind of debate, open discussion, etc. between Mike Farris and David Gibbs about the PRA. I would really like to inform myself before making a decision. I worked for HSLDA for over four years (four wonderful years) and, of course, am always interested in HSLDA’s position on home-school related policy. However, I am also interested in looking at the whole picture and weighing the arguments from all angles. Clearly I’m not alone in this. For me, I think such a debate would be very helpful.

    Please tell Mike I said hello. 🙂

  11. says

    I heartily agree with Jeanette and Christine. This topic is so important, it deserves a formal discussion between Mr. Farris and Mr. Gibbs. I, too, am concerned both about the amount of money that it would take to add this to the constitution as well as the manpower and energy it would take. If it isn’t necessary, is this how homeschoolers ought to spend their money and time?

    Please, please, Jonathan, encourage Mr. Farris to change his mind and enter into a public discussion with Mr. Gibbs. I believe we would all benefit greatly!

  12. says

    Sorry I let the discussion drop. I have just returned to the office after taking a brief vacation.

    I can’t speak for Mike Farris, but I know I’m not in a position to persuade him to hold a debate he doesn’t want to hold. I don’t work directly for him. Whatever you might think, I don’t have his ear.

    From my point of view, a public debate would be largely pointless, because no ground would be covered that hasn’t already been covered. We have already answered every objection to the Parental Rights Amendment, including the ones that HLA has raised. If people aren’t convinced when the information is made available to them online, why would they change their minds in a public debate, which is actually more limiting? In a public debate, the audience has no immediate way to fact-check what you’re saying, to search for your sources, etc. And in a debate, even if it lasted for an hour, there would only be time to touch on a few major points. You can’t address all the details of an issue in a debate. As a debater, I know this from experience. And sometimes charisma and rhetoric carries the day over logic and facts. So, in my opinion, we’ve done our job, and will continue to do so. We’ve just chosen to conduct the debate online rather than in person. It’s not about hiding the facts from the public. It’s about what’s the most practical and effective way of educating people. I promise you that no arguments would be raised in the debate that haven’t already been raised and addressed.

    We have support from thousands of people outside the homeschooling community, and they are ultimately the ones we need to reach in order to pass the Parental Rights Amendment, because the homeschooling community is simply not large enough to get it passed and ratified. We’d love to have the homeschooling community united on this issue. But complete consensus is not our number one goal (passing the Amendment is our #1 goal), and since 63% of likely American voters support the concept of our Parental Rights Amendment, we’re not going to give up just because a few homeschoolers disagree. I don’t mean that in an unkind way. I think anyone can see that the approach makes sense. Nothing would ever get done anywhere if everyone waited for 100% consensus. So don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think that engaging people who disagree with me isn’t worthwhile. After all, I’m posting responses on this blog (and others). But the most worthwhile use of our resources is spreading our message to people who are likely to support us, and that includes a landslide majority of the American public.

    On Christine’s point about spending money on the PRA campaign versus “spend[ing] our resources defending homeschoolers and helping them solve their problems,” you’re creating a false dichotomy. We’re not a distraction from the real problem. We’re fighting the real, long-term problem. The day-to-day skirmishes are necessary, but with the Parental Rights Amendment we would have a much more effective weapon in our arsenal, and we could gain a lot more ground for all parents, instead of only defending our current turf. I’m asking you to look at the big picture.

    For anyone who wants to know all about the issue in-depth, go to our website or do a Google search. I’m not afraid of what you’ll learn. But I won’t insult your intelligence by spoon-feeding the entire issue to you. If, however, in your research, you come up with specific questions, shoot me an email (jonathan@parentalrights.org) and I’ll be happy to answer them or point you to additional information.

  13. Jerzy says

    Christine,

    My husband and I just watched “V for Vendetta” and boy did that movie illustrate your statement beautifully! I’ve often wondered why we need politicians at all any more. We have enough laws on the books to last us for eternity!

    National Home Education Legal Defense has also come out against this amendment. Here’s the page explaining why:http://www.nheld.com/StopTheTreaty.htm

  14. says

    Well, I still think a good, public discussion is the best idea. I have every confidence that homeschoolers can look past the charisma and the rhetoric! We aren’t ALL that easily swayed by charm and smooth talk! 😉

  15. says

    I’m with you, Christine. Sometimes I cringe just at the thought of Congress being in session to dream up some new law.

    Maybe I am old enough now that I remember the “good old days” when my dad attended a little country school. The kids were taught by a teacher who boarded in the homes of families in their small town. Every single student was better educated in 8th grade than many today when they graduate from high school. I once saw textbooks they had used and was amazed at how advanced they were. My mom often observes how similar homeschooling is to the one room school houses. Why can’t we go back to the simpler way of raising and educating children without all the bureaucracy? (bureaucracy from both the liberal and conservative camps)

  16. says

    Jerzy, thanks for posting that information. I am still wondering why a public discussion isn’t a good idea. I am sure, however, that it isn’t true that every single question or concern has already been answered.

  17. says

    How many times have you heard the expression, “There oughta be a law!”

    Politicians and advocates take up the cause, then shortly we are under greater regulation.

    Look at homeschooling “laws” themselves. Someone said, “There oughta be a law” and the next thing we knew we had some states with tight, negotiated laws which served to actually curtail freedoms.

    With the Parental Rights Amendment, supporters are saying to legislators, “Please protect the rights we already have.” Please give me laws and regulations and legislation to give me a right THAT I ALREADY HAVE.

    I hope that every homeschooler pulls back the curtain and takes a hard look at this.

    Christine Field
    http://www.HomeschoolLegalAdvantage.com
    http://www.MomLifeNavigator.com

  18. says

    Christine Field wrote: “With the Parental Rights Amendment, supporters are saying to legislators, “Please protect the rights we already have.” Please give me laws and regulations and legislation to give me a right THAT I ALREADY HAVE.”

    thatmom wrote: “Why can’t we go back to the simpler way of raising and educating children without all the bureaucracy? (bureaucracy from both the liberal and conservative camps)”

    Both of you are approaching this issue from a viewpoint that conflates Constitutional protection of our rights with giving more power to the government to remove our rights. Parental rights are in danger today because our legislatures and courts are not explicitly required to respect them. Sure, your rights already exist. But what good is it if they only exist in your mind, but are of no practical use to you because the government chooses to deny their existence. There is only one way to keep the government from ignoring our rights, and that is by placing them in the Constitution.

    The Constitution is not a government document. It is a popular (of the people) document that restrains the government and tells it what its limits are. Amending it is about solving our problems by popular involvement, not government involvement. So if we place parental rights in the Constitution so that the Constitution will protect them, that’s not the same as telling the government to regulate them. It’s telling the government, “HANDS OFF!” Right now, federal courts are pushing the idea that parental rights are subject to state approval, and they are taking your rights away. And NOTHING stands in their way, unless we pass a Constitutional amendment. The Amendment won’t regulate us. It will force this nation’s existing laws to conform to a proper understanding of our rights, and will be used to strike down any that do not. It will regulate our judges and legislators, and hold THEM accountable, not us.

    Christine Field wrote: “Look at homeschooling “laws” themselves. Someone said, “There oughta be a law” and the next thing we knew we had some states with tight, negotiated laws which served to actually curtail freedoms.”

    Homeschooling used to be illegal. It took new “homeschooling” laws to make it legal. Depending on the state, those laws are more or less restrictive, depending on how much compromise had to occur in order for the laws to pass and then remain in place. You can wish we didn’t have homeschooling laws, but if we didn’t have them, the laws would still require that all children go to public or private schools, and you would go to jail if you tried to do otherwise. Besides, you’re comparing apples to oranges. Homeschooling laws are state statutes that inform state regulations. The limits of state statutes and regulations on parents and children are determined by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is bound by the Constitution. If you want to make parents more free from regulations, then you should support the Parental Rights Amendment, which would force the Supreme Court to treat parental rights with much greater care and respect, and provide the legal foundation necessary for them to strike down state and federal laws that regulate parents.

  19. says

    One more thought…

    Christine Field wrote: “With the Parental Rights Amendment, supporters are saying to legislators, “Please protect the rights we already have.” Please give me laws and regulations and legislation to give me a right THAT I ALREADY HAVE.”

    The Bill of Rights is made up of rights that our Founding Fathers believed they ALREADY HAD. They added them to the Constitution to keep the newly formed government from denying them those rights down the road. They weren’t dreaming up new rights. They realized that a day would come when those rights would be threatened, and they wanted their rights to be protected. That’s the same rationale behind the Parental Rights Amendment. We already have the rights, but they are being undermined and will eventually be taken away from us if we don’t act to protect them. I hope that our generation takes their cue from the Founders, otherwise we’re sunk.

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *