The Rights You Didn’t Know You Had to Fight For

 

Credit: Amanda Pelser, ThePelsers.com

Did you know that as a parent in the U.S.,you do NOT have the fundamental right to decide what’s best for your children?

Up until I attended a session at the Georgia Homeschool Education Association (GHEA) conference this month, I didn’t know this. The government can at any time decide what’s best for your child, take action now and (maybe) apologize later (1).
In a showing of the movie Overruled, I watched three real cases where parental rights were negated:

  • A cop removed dad from a school when he simply asked for his child to be able to opt out of a program that familiarized/normalized the children in his son’s Kindergarten class to families with two parents of the same sex (2).
  • After they paid for medical treatment, parents were told they could not get the results of the medical results for their 13-year-old son without his consent. (HIPAA backs this.)
  • A 13-year-old boy complained of emotional distress because his parents took him to church three times a week. He was immediately removed from the school where he confided in his guidance counselor, and placed into temporary foster care over the weekend without his parents being notified. Later, a judge told the parents to be careful, respect the child’s wishes, and take him to church no more than once a week, because that was plenty.


All of these cases took place within the last 10 years. And in April 2013, another similar case which is particularly cruel took place where a cop removed a baby from his California home because a nurse complained when the parents wanted to get a second opinion on heart surgery.  The cop didn’t ask questions or confirm any circumstances; he just came into the home, took the baby and the parents had to fight for two weeks to get her back.

Seemingly innocent things such as visiting your child at school to have lunch (3), inquiring about your child’s library book late fees, grades, tuition receipts (for minor children), or even questioning the content of public school assemblies (4) are not automatic “givens.”

Homeschooling is a freedom that can be taken for granted.  Georgia happens to be a state that is more relaxed than some (especially compared to my home state of New York). I signed a petition that supports the Parental Rights Amendment.  You can add your signature to this petition here.

Cited Court Rulings:

1- Troxel v. Granville (2000)
2- Parker v. Hurley, 514 F. 3d 87 (2008)
3- Fields v. Palmdale School District, 427 F. 3d 1197 (2005)
4- Brown v. Hot, Sexy and Safer Productions, Inc. (1995)

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5 thoughts on “The Rights You Didn’t Know You Had to Fight For

  1. Wow. This is so sad. Thank you for sharing your insight with us Daree. It’s so important for parents to know what rights they have so they can stand up and make a difference in any way that they can.

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