Parental rights in the United States are under attack. Among imposing state and city laws, to federal regulations, to over-zealous social workers, many parents are finding that their right to educate, discipline, teach independence, and decide what is best for their children’s health and medical care is being infringed upon. Some of these rights include:
The Right to Opt Out
Some parents do not approve of everything that is being taught to their children at school and would like the opportunity to both know what is being taught and to opt their children out of certain lessons or programs at school. Some parents are finding that when they inquire at the school about objectionable curriculum, the school personel become quite defensive. The most severe case occurred in Massachusetts when a family wanted to opt their kindergarten son out of lessons on homosexuality. The school had the father arrested, and in the end, the first circuit court of the United States ruled that the state has an interest in teaching children about homosexuality when it is part of the state law and parents cannot opt their children out of those lessons. The Supreme Court did not take the case allowing the first circuit ruling to stand.
The Right to school choice
Some parents home school, some send their kids to private schools, some charter schools, and other parents prefer the regular public schools. If there wasn’t a need for all of these choices they would not exist. But some in authority and public office would do away with school choice. This greatly hampers parents’ ability to educate their children according to their individual needs. School choice should be a fundamental right and certainly helps children get the best education for them. School choice suits parents’ needs as well. With school choice parents can teach their kids their liberal or conservative values without infringing on the rights of their neighbors.
Right to Allow Children to be Independent
It has not gone unnoticed throughout the nation how very few children are walking to school or playing in their yards or at the parks. Some parents would like their children to learn responsibility earlier than other parents would choose. They would like their kids to be able to walk to school or to the parks or to wait at the bus stop without a parent nearby. This is not unusual and has been the case for all generations except the current one. However, some laws are trying to prevent the independence of children and the choice of parents. Laws and ordinances should recognize that parents know and understand their children better than anyone else and should be afforded the opportunity to teach their children according to their children’s abilities rather than restraining the freedom of parents and children.
Right to Medical Decisions
One frightening thing that is happening throughout the nation is parents losing custody of their children over differences of opinions regarding medical care. If a parent takes a child to the wrong doctor, they risk losing that child. This risk is ridiculous. Parents should not have to fear losing their children simply by taking them to a doctor. This is obviously not in the best interest of the health of the nation when parents fear medical professionals.
Other issues have involved school programs that allow young teen girls to get invasive medical devices such as IUD birth control without parental consent, yet the same children are considered too immature to drive without a parent, attend school without parental consent, pay medical bills, hold down a job, and in some cases even babysit or walk to school without a parent. It just doesn’t make sense.
What Can Be Done
An organization called parentalrights.org is pushing to add a parental rights amendment to the U.S. Constitution. They have a petition they are asking people to sign to let lawmakers know that parents want to have their rights to care for their children protected under the Constitution.
This can be done at the state level, but a federal constitutional amendment is the safest route for parents. By amending the Constitution parental rights would be protected from local lawmakers, state lawmakers, federal lawmakers and all of the court systems. The Supreme Court would then be mandated to protect the rights of parents with the exception of abuse above and beyond all other interests.
Please take the time to sign the petition to help protect the rights of parents to raise their children as they see fit.