"Honor thy father and thy mother."

We the People...

ON PARENTAL RIGHTS 

The Solution: The Parental Rights Amendment
 
"Through activist courts and the threat of ratifying the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), big government intrudes on families more and more. Already, the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing of their children has greatly eroded in federal courts and in such settings as public schools, local libraries, and your doctor’s office." -- Michael Farris, president, ParentalRights.org

The only solution to the attack on the child-parent relationship is the Parental Rights Amendment -- securing the rights of parents to raise their children. 

Only a constitutional amendment will ensure that the courts of our nation protect the fundamental right of parents to raise their children. And only a constitutional amendment will override international law that seeks to undermine the parental role. As the only complete solution to the danger confronting the child-parent relationship, the Parental Rights Amendment will place current Supreme Court doctrine protecting parental rights into the explicit text of the Constitution. Only the Parental Rights Amendment completely eliminates all threats to the child-parent relationship. It is the only comprehensive response to the attack on parental rights across our nation.

Below is the draft text for the Parental Rights Amendment.
View the annotated version here.


DRAFT PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT
FOR THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

SECTION 1
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.

SECTION 2
Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. This article shall not be construed to protect actions or decisions to end the life of any child, born or unborn.

SECTION 3
No treaty may be adopted nor shall any source of international law be employed to supersede, modify, interpret, or apply to the rights guaranteed by this article.


QUICK FACTS ON AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION

  • Only a constitutional amendment will ensure that parental rights will be honored in the United States, and protected from the threat of international law.
  • Only 33 amendments have ever been passed by Congress, and of these, only 27 have been ratified by the states.
  • Passing an amendment takes supporters at every level of government – in Congress, in committees, and in the states. Every American can play a vital role in this process by signing the petition and involving others in this campaign.

A constitutional amendment will ensure that judges who are currently denying parental rights will be obligated to recognize them. It will ensure that judges who are presently refusing to recognize parental rights because of their lack of explicit protection within the Constitution will instead safeguard parental rights.

The founders of this country created a nation ruled by laws, not men. Placing parental rights into the text of the Constitution ensures that law will defend the American family. A constitutional amendment will shield the child-parent relationship from government intrusion, regardless of who sits on the Supreme Court.

Not only does an amendment adequately address the threat posed by judges who refuse to recognize parental rights, but it also meets head-on the threat against the child-parent relationship posed by international law.

HOW AN AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE FAMILY FROM INTERNATIONAL LAW

As a legally binding international treaty, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is capable of permanently altering the role of the parent within the American family. If ratified, the UNCRC becomes the law of the land, unable to be held in check by state or national legislation. The only way to protect the rights of parents from the destructive policies contained in the UNCRC is through an amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Presently, except in cases where a parent has been proven to be "unfit," American law presumes that the parent is acting in the best interests of the child, and defers to that parent's decision. The UNCRC, in contrast, supplants this traditional presumption in favor of parents with a new presumption in favor of the state.

The Senators who originally opposed the ratification of the UNCRC when it was originally signed by President Clinton in 1995 believed that the Convention marked a significant departure from the American concept of the relationship between state and child, and was incompatible with the right of parents to raise their children.

The only way to protect the vital role of parents from this cataclysmic shift is through amending the U.S. Constitution to reflect current Supreme Court doctrine which preserves the right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

That's why the Parental Rights Amendment is so important. If passed, the Parental Rights Amendment will protect and preserve the vital child-parent relationship for generations to come.

WHY NOW?

The judges on the Supreme Court will change over time, but the law will not. If the U.S. Constitution is amended to secure parental rights, the vital child-parent relationship will be effectively shielded from intrusion by the government.

Amending the constitution is an enormous task—requiring time, resources, vision, dedication, and hardworking people who will make it happen. But it is not impossible.

Timing is everything. Parental rights are in an uncertain state within the federal courts, and danger is on the way. In only a matter of time, international law could erase the rights that most American parents take for granted. That’s why time is of the essence. We can’t afford to wait until parental rights are gone before seeking to defend them—now is the time to take action.

You can play a vital role in the process of amending the Constitution by joining with ParentalRights.org in the fight to protect children and parents. If you believe that the vital role of parents in the lives of their children should be protected and preserved, then we need your participation in the campaign to pass the Parental Rights Amendment!

Sign the petition now to protect children by empowering parents, and recruit your friends to join the fight. 

Rebekah Pizana | National Coalition Director | ParentalRights.org | 540.645.9475 (c)
P.O. Box 1090, Purcellville, Virginia 20134 | Email: rebekah@parentalrights.org

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July 28, 2014

Urgent: Call Right Now to Reject UN Disabilities Treaty

Dear Champion of Parental Rights,

We have received intelligence that this week, supporters of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will be lobbying in force for Senate ratification of this dangerous United Nations treaty. They are busing in activists, making phone calls, and pulling out all of the stops.

We must match their efforts. Please call your two U.S. Senators right now and politely but firmly urge them to defeat the CRPD. Then, make a point to call again on Tuesday afternoon; we understand treaty supporters have scheduled a rally for that time, and we need to meet strength with strength. You can reach your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for them. You can also find their contact information by clicking on your state atParentalrights.org/states.

Your message can be as simple as the following:

“I urge you to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats and will threaten parental care of children with disabilities. Our nation already has laws to protect Americans with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will hurt families by giving bureaucrats, instead of parents, the power to decide what is in the best interests of a child with disabilities.”

I know you are busy parenting your children. I know many of you have already called and you may feel your senator is not listening to you. But I also know that your dedication to US sovereignty, educational freedom, and parental rights made the difference in 2012 when the Senate rejected the CRPD. Please take the time to make these calls again. I know that if we are united in making our voices overwhelmingly heard, we can win again.

Senate staffers may argue that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee added Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations (“RUDs”) to the CRPD to answer our concerns with the treaty. RUDs are considered to be weaker than treaty language under international law, as my recent analysis shows. Do we dare to trust our God-given right to direct the education and upbringing of our children to these RUDs?

Other staffers may argue that the treaty is only a statement of support for people with disabilities, and will not change US law. Remind these staffers that Article VI of the US Constitution says treaties that are ratified with the consent of the Senate “shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” The US already is the world leader in advancing the rights of persons with disabilities – we don’t need to ratify a UN treaty to remain the leader.

Thank you for calling. Please forward this email to your friends and urge them to call as well. At this point, the CRPD has not yet been scheduled for a floor vote, which means that supporters of the treaty still do not have the two-thirds majority they need to pass it. Your phone calls and letters are making the difference.

To learn more about the CRPD and to read it for yourself, please visitwww.parentalrights.org/crpd.

For liberty,

Michael P. Farris, JD, LLM
President, ParentalRights.org

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July 23, 2014

CRPD Passes Committee: Help Us Stop It Once Again!

The United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday by a 12-6 vote. That’s the bad news, and we need your support to halt this treaty that can now be brought to the Senate floor for a final vote at any time. A two-thirds majority is needed to provide consent for its ratification, meaning 34 “No” votes are enough to stop it – but they could be hard to come by.

Then there is good news, from a different and unexpected direction, which alsorequires immediate funding. Oklahoma’s new Parents’ Bill of Rights, signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin just last month, has prompted other organizations, including local school administrations, to reach out to ParentalRights.org for interpretation and application of the law. How do they need to shape their policies – especially those relative to data collection under the soon-defunct Common Core – to respect the rights of parents now called for under this statute? That they are looking to us as experts on this law creates a tremendous opportunity for us in that state.

These two recent events demand that we both fund and take immediate actionin the effort to protect parental rights.

The CRPD’s passage out of committee greatly increases our need to have an on-going presence on Capitol Hill. We must make certain this treaty does not pass – whether brought to a full Senate vote, or sneaked through when nearly no one is on the floor (as Harry Reid attempted once before). We also need to increase calls to our senators urging them to vote “no.” (Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or click on your state at parentalrights.org/states for your senators’ office numbers.)

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma development means we need to secure reviews of the law from legal experts explaining its application in several areas. Everything from public schools to child abuse investigations to medical decisions was covered by the bill, andproviding solid guidance on each subject will allow us to stake our position asthe go-to experts on parental rights.

To do either of these requires your generous donation today, and the fact is we need to do both. Please take a moment, dig deep, and give to help us drive the success we have enjoyed and defeat this dangerous treaty for perhaps the final time.

(The CRPD, like any treaty, can be brought back at any time. But if the Senate’s structure shifts this November as many pundits expect, the CRPD may not pose as great a threat for some time as it does right now.)

We must stop the Senate from giving away American sovereignty and enlisting the U.N. to set American domestic policy. And we need to step up as the parental rights experts in Oklahoma as well.

We know things are tight, and we greatly appreciate all of your past support. But we simply cannot win without you now. Please give today as we strive to keep our country free!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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July 17, 2014

Senate Committee Schedules CRPD Vote - Call Today!

Dear Champion of Parental Rights,

The U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee will vote on the dangerous UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on Tuesday, July 22.

Now is the time to let the Senate hear loud and clear that Americans are firmly opposed to surrendering our sovereignty, parental rights, and the rights of people with disabilities to unelected, unaccountable UN bureaucrats. Please call and email your two U.S. senators right now and urge them to reject the CRPD. We need every single parent and concerned citizen to make their voice heard. Bad bills can be repealed, but once a treaty is ratified there is no going back.

You can reach your senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121, or find their direct office line by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states. (You can also use the shortcut 4pra.us/ followed by the 2-letter postal abbreviation for your state. Live in Florida? That's 4pra.us/fl.)

Your message can be as simple as the following:

“I urge you to oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This treaty surrenders U.S. sovereignty to unelected UN bureaucrats and will threaten parental care of children with disabilities. Our nation already has laws to protect Americans with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will hurt families by giving bureaucrats the power to decide what is in the best interests of a child with disabilities, not the child’s parents.”

We do not have the votes to stop the CRPD in the Foreign Relations Committee. That is why we urge you to call not only the senators on the Committee, but also your own two senators. Please call even if your senator supports the treaty, or even if he or she opposes it. Every senator needs to hear from us. The following senators are on the Foreign Relations Committee:

DemocratsRepublicans
Robert Menendez (NJ): (202) 224-4744Bob Corker (TN) (202) 224-3344
Barbara Boxer (CA): (202) 224-3553Ron Johnson (WI) (202) 224-5323
Benjamin L. Cardin (MD): (202) 224-4524James E. Risch (ID) (202) 224-2752
Tom Udall (NM): (202) 224-6621Jeff Flake (AZ) (202) 224-4521
Edward Markey (MA): (202) 224-2742John McCain (AZ) (202) 224-2235
Chris Murphy (CT): (202) 224-4041John Barrasso (WI) (202) 224-6441
Tim Kaine (VA): (202) 224-4024Rand Paul (KY) (202) 224-4343
Jeanne Shaheen (NH): (202) 224-2841Marco Rubio (FL) (202) 224-3041
Christopher Coons (DE): (202) 224-5042 
Richard J. Durbin (IL): (202) 224-2152 

ParentalRights.org opposes the CRPD because it says “in all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” If ratified by the Senate, government officials could use this section to override parents’ decisions for their child with a disability.

Other provisions of the CRPD promote abortion, require a national registry of all children with disabilities, and threaten U.S. sovereignty and our fundamental right to govern ourselves. The term “disability,” however, is not defined. Our nation already has the best laws in the world to protect Americans with disabilities, and we use our leadership and foreign aid overseas to urge nations to protect their own citizens with disabilities. This treaty is unnecessary and will weaken U.S. leadership by replacing our nation’s proven record on disability rights with UN “leadership.”

Some senate staff may argue that the CRPD isn’t dangerous because it can be amended with Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations (“RUDs”). No one has seen the proposed RUDs yet, so we don’t even know if they are well-written. But more importantly, RUDs are fatally flawed. The CRPD itself says in Article 46, “Reservations incompatible with the object and purpose of the present Convention shall not be permitted.” Who decides? The UN. International law experts have made the same arguments, and we cannot trust our freedom to five justices on the Supreme Court making the right ruling. In addition, a future Senate could withdraw RUDs.

Some senate staff may also argue that the recent Supreme Court ruling in Bond v. United States addresses our concerns. I answered this argument on HSLDA's sitehereBond was an incredibly narrow ruling, and it never addressed the treaty power issue. In fact, the concurring opinions by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito prove that our concerns about UN treaties are completely justified.

The good news is that your action defeated the CRPD in 2012. By the grace of God, we can do it again. Please call right now and please also forward this email to your friends. You can visit parentalrights.org/crpd to learn more about the CRPD, and you can read the text of the CRPD here.

For Liberty,
Farris signature
Michael P. Farris, JD, LLM
President

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July 16, 2014

Common Core Jettisoned for State Control, Parent Involvement

On Monday Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed into law House Bill 1490, which repealed and replaced key sections of Missouri law relating to elementary and secondary education standards, including the Common Core. On a day when Nixon nearly set a record for vetoing bills, one of the few that he signed was a tremendous victory for parental rights: HB 1490 calls for the adoption of new state academic standards, rejecting the Common Core that Nixon brought to Missouri in the first place.

According to the Common Core website, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (“the Department”) adopted the standards on June 15, 2010, to be fully implemented throughout the state in the coming 2014-15 school year. As governor, Nixon exercised authority over the Department at the time. But the public outcry against the standards has been great, and the legislature has responded.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, or Common Core, is a national set of academic standards established by private corporations and state executive trade unions and backed by federal dollars, in violation of the Constitution’s separation of powers. Significantly, very few professional educators were part of developing the standards, and the ones who were involved refused to sign off on the final product.

HB 1490, which ParentalRights.org supported, does more than simply reverse the decision to adopt this program, however. It also outlines a whole new procedure for adopting academic standards in the future, including many new safeguards to prevent another federal takeover.

The Common Core was adopted by the Department during the summer break between school years, without any legislative oversight, review, or public input. Education, which is traditionally and constitutionally a role of the states and not the federal government, was handed over to the latter without any say from the people.

That will not happen again under HB 1490, which requires that any academic standards revision must go through work groups assigned by the legislature. These work groups, to be comprised of education professionals and parents of children in the grade levels to which the standards will apply, will be selected by a wide range of persons. The governor, lieutenant governor, commissioner for higher education, president pro tempore of the senate, speaker of the Missouri House, statewide association of Missouri school boards, and the state board of education are among those tapped by the bill to each name members to the groups. (Read the whole list insection A(3) here.)

In addition, the law states that whenever standards are developed or modified a minimum of three public hearings will be held, giving parents and other concerned citizens a voice before any changes are made. And it prohibits the Department “from mandating the curriculum, textbooks, or other instructional materials to be used in public schools.” Such decisions are left to the local school boards, though they will of course be chosen to meet the academic standards set by the state.

Common Core, with its requirement that material taught in addition to the guidelines must not exceed 15% of all material studied, greatly restricted any discretion on the part of state or local officials in correcting or supplementing the standards, regardless of what would prove best for students. The new law includes a provision that “local school districts and charter schools may adopt their own education standards, in addition to those already adopted by the state,” as long as they don’t create a direct conflict with the state standards. There is no limit by percentage, which allows for more local control.

Each of these safeguards will prevent the kind of heavy-handed power grabbing that led to the Common Core being adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia in the first place. (For more on how Common Core sprang up so quickly, click here.) Instead, HB 1490 protects the role of parents, through local educators and state lawmakers, in directing the education of their children.

We are grateful for the support of those of you in Missouri who called, emailed, or otherwise spoke out to champion this bill. And we are proud of Missouri for returning education to the purview of parents and state lawmakers, and not to deep-pocketed special interest groups and the federal educrats.

Action Items

The CRPD is still an impending threat in the U.S. Senate. For more on the dangers, click here. If you have not already taken action, or if you haven’t lately, please call your senators and urge them to oppose ratification of this dangerous treaty that will sacrifice American sovereignty and your parental rights for a (alleged) public relations boost. You can find your senators’ office numbers by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states.

In addition, the Parental Rights Amendment is still collecting cosponsors in the House (Rep. Mark Meadows’ HJRes. 50) and in the Senate (Sen. Lindsey Graham’sSJRes. 37). Contact your lawmakers (access their contact info atparentalrights.org/states) and urge them to sign on as a cosponsor. Or you can set up an appointment to see them while they are home on recess in August. Click here for more on setting up an appointment.

Thank you for standing with us to defend parental rights. This victory in Missouri proves that success can be reached if we stand together and make the will of the people known!

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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July 15, 2014

Dear Parental Rights Champion,

ParentalRights.org-California is calling for volunteers to fill positions that will give life and direction to protecting the parent-child relationship from government interference in the state of California. We'd like to have an organizational meeting with District Coordinator Dr. Kim Lockwood in Ventura County on August the 9th to fill the below positions, set goals for the state, and begin working towards them. We also plan to create and mail an information sheet and survey to all congressional candidates for the November election. If you would like to participate – even if you can't make it to Ventura on this date – we need to hear from you!

The positions are:

State Coordinator - coordinates activity in the state and interfaces with the national level.
State Volunteer Leader - recruits and coordinates activity of the 53 District Coordinators.
Fundraising Leader - raises funds for state and national activities.
Legislative Leader - keeps the group apprised of legislative activity in the state.
Communications Leader - maintains social pages and other communication tools.
District Coordinator - Communicates parental rights issues to congresspersons in their district, and gets them to co-sponsor HJRes50.

We are all very busy, but to protect children we must protect parental rights. If you can fill one of the above positions please e-mail Daniel Lee atdanlee55555@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

P.O. Box 1090 Purcellville, VA 20134 * (540)-751-1200 * info@parentalrights.org

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July 8, 2014

Are You Ready for Recess?

Unfortunately, we expect the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to be taken up by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the very near future – perhaps later this month. This and other factors could make this year’s August recess one of the most important opportunities to contact your senators and congressman about parental rights issues.

Each year Congress takes recess for the month of August to return to their states and districts and hear from the people “back home.” This year, with elections looming in November, they should be listening especially well. And we have a lot that we need to tell them.

So why not take a moment now to contact your congressman’s office and your senators’ offices and set appointments to go see them next month while they are in town? Then gather some friends to go with you, and prepare to make a difference.

With your senators, the issue is the CRPD. This dangerous treaty could come to the floor of the Senate as early as September, though the “lame duck” session in November would be more likely. But August is the time to get face-to-face, to let them literally see that there are people concerned about this treaty’s threats to American sovereignty and parental rights.

You can also invite them to sign on with Senator Lindsey Graham as cosponsors of SJRes. 37, the Parental Rights Amendment. Remind them that protecting children by empowering parents is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but an issue that unites all Americans.

When you meet with your congressman, the issue is primarily HJRes. 50, also the Parental Rights Amendment. Specifically, you want to ask them to contact Rep. Mark Meadows and sign on as a cosponsor. (Visit 4pra.us/house to see the current list of cosponsors.) We are hopeful the Amendment will receive a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee later this summer, and adding cosponsors will help make that happen.

In order to see the kind of action we are looking for, both in promoting the Amendment and in halting this dangerous treaty, we must rise above the noise of the elections. Calls and emails can both be effective, but nothing is more powerful than an actual face-to-face meeting with a constituent ready to lay out the issue and ask for their congressman’s support. Please take the time to be that constituent in the coming weeks.

Action Items

First, make those appointments now. You can find links for your congressman and senators by clicking on your state at parentalrights.org/states. Ask for a 15-minute window and plan to take a few friends with you.

Second, call your senators today and urge them to oppose the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Tell them that in these days of government overreach, the last thing we need is to let the United Nations set our domestic policies. Parents of children with special needs deserve the respect to be allowed to make decisions for their own children without government intrusion.

Third, if you have not already done so, become a member of ParentalRights.org by donating here. (You can also click for details.) You will not only receive helpful information for your family, but also support our efforts to halt the CRPD, and to secure the adoption of the PRA.

Finally, send this email to your friends and loved ones and urge them to support parental rights as well.

The risk of ratifying the CRPD this year is great. It will take all of us working faithfully and capturing every opportunity to stop it. And we will have no greater opportunity than the August recess. Please make your appointments today.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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Page last updated 07/28/14