"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
governmentalinterest 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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January 28, 2015

The State of Parental Rights in America 2015

Last January’s “The State of Parental Rights in America” was so well received – and so helpful for informing parents and policy-makers about the growing parental rights issue – that we decided to make it an annual report.

Sadly, not a lot has changed in the past year, and much of what has changed has been for the worse. Progress has been made in a few states, but the overall picture remains grim. Here is an overview of parental rights in America as we begin 2015.

The Good News – Laws Protecting Families

Over the last two years, a handful of states have adopted legislation to protect the vital parent-child relationship. Nevada, Virginia, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Kansas have all adopted new laws protecting the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children. Notable among these is Oklahoma, whose “Parents’ Bill of Rights” draws clear lines of instruction that state agencies must follow, encouraging respect and parental involvement especially in the education and medical care of each child.

Several states have also reconsidered their involvement in the Common Core State Standards Initiative. (Common Core is a program promoting a privately owned and copyrighted set of national education standards for public schools. Its full implementation includes curricula-shaping testing and student data sharing. Critics on both sides of the aisle oppose the program, because it places power over local schools in the hands of large corporations and the federal government.) While many states have put Common Core implementation on hold, ten states have rejected the program entirely; Oklahoma, Louisiana, South Carolina, Indiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, and Missouri have joined Texas, Virginia, and Alaska, who never signed on in the first place.

Unfortunately, these positive developments are only a small part of our parental rights review.

Medical Freedom - Hospitals:

Justina Pelletier finally made it home to her family in June of this year, after 16 months at the mercy of Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and the State of Massachusetts Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). According to her doctors at Tuft’s Medical Center, the 17-year-old suffers from mitochondrial disease. But doctors at neighboring BCH diagnosed her instead with somatoform disorder – they believed her sickness was all in her head.

Justina Pelletier home

CREDIT: A Miracle for Justina Facebook page

When Justina’s parents disagreed with BCH’s analysis, the hospital accused them of medical neglect and asked the state to take custody of her, which it did. Fit parents, backed by a fully licensed and well respected teaching hospital, lost custody of their daughter over a diagnosis dispute, and did not get her home for nearly a year and a half.

By the time it was over, the head of DCFS had resigned and the nation had been roused, but poor Justina’s body had been decimated for want of proper treatment. She is still struggling to recover.

Isaiah Rider

CREDIT: Team Isaiah Rider Facebook page


In most states, the law is not on your side. The state of Illinois took Isaiah Rider from his mother, Michelle, because she sought multiple opinions for treating her son’s pain. The teen suffers from neurofibromatosis, and has already lost a leg to the debilitating condition. The state of Arizona has taken Hannah and Kayla Diegel from their mother, as well, over what essentially appears to be another diagnosis dispute over mitochondrial disease.

Medical Freedom Elsewhere

But the hospital isn't the only place your parental rights are at risk.

Detroit resident Maryann Godboldo was arrested in 2011 after a 10-hour standoff with police and CPS who claimed she was not giving her daughter proper medication. The state later discontinued the medication as well, returned the daughter, and dropped the charges – until the appeals court and prosecutors in 2013 opted to go after her again. It wasn't until March of 2014 that those charges were finally dropped as well.

Meanwhile, a family from Clarke County, Virginia, lost custody of their two children when a Child Services Worker – with no medical or psychological training – determined that the mother was suffering from Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. This outdated term (now called “medical neglect”) refers to a psychological disorder whereby the affected parent is driven to claim that their child is sick in order to draw attention to themselves.

Never mind that medical tests ultimately found the cause of the family’s ongoing maladies. The social services worker’s unqualified diagnosis led to removal of the children from their home for several weeks, during which time both already-ill children were exposed to tuberculosis. The son also suffered a broken ankle, which the state refused to treat, insisting it was only a sprain.

The law is not on your side. Despite the legislative gains, most judges still rubber-stamp intrusive investigations into homes where no evidence exists of abuse or neglect, just because a case worker disagrees with the judgment of fit parents. And states continue to pass laws restricting the right of informed parents to make vaccination and mental health decisions for their children.

Mental Health:

New laws in California, New Jersey, and now the District of Columbia make it illegal for teenagers struggling with unwanted same-sex attraction to seek reparative therapy, even if the teen, the professional counselor, and both parents agree on the desired treatment. Similar bills have been introduced in Illinois and other states. This viewpoint discrimination takes decision-making rights away from parents and tramples the doctor-patient professional relationship.

The law is not on your side.

Public School Access:

Though we have not seen new accounts in 2014, the following stories from last year still stir our ire:


In Tennessee, a dad was arrested trying to pick up his special-needs daughter at the end of the school day.

In Georgia a mom was banned from her child’s public school  because she posted a photo online of her new concealed carry permit. No threats to violate the “gun-free zone.” She simply earned her permit and was banned from the school.

The law is not on your side. Laws in a majority of states limit or entirely deny to parents any “right” to be present on school grounds where their child is in attendance. What’s more, some school districts have banned parents from sending a lunch with their child, requiring that they buy school-provided lunch instead. And a 2014 bill in New York would require that all parents attend state-provided parenting classesbefore their child can graduate the sixth grade.

Public School Content:

To say that American parents are concerned with the direction of our public schools would be an understatement. As mentioned above, a growing number of states are throwing out the Common Core, a set of “national curriculum standards” set up by the National Governors’ Association and required for schools to qualify for federal Race to the Top education funding.

No Parents Allowed
image: istockphoto

The “standards” were adopted over the summer of 2010 without any review by parents or state legislatures. Last year, even the New York State Teachers’ Union voted to reject the standards, saying “We will be the first to admit it doesn’t work.” But the vast majority of states are still plowing ahead with the plan.

The law is not on your side as a parent. The Ninth Circuit in Fields v. Palmdale(2005) held that, “Parents…have no constitutional right…to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so.” (emphasis added)

And the First Circuit Court of Appeals in its Parker v. Hurley (2007) decision states, “Parents do have a fundamental right to raise their children. They are not required to abandon that responsibility to the state. [They] may send their children to a private school that does not … conflict with their religious beliefs. They may also educate their children at home.” (emphasis added) Essentially, they said that if parents want a say in what their children learn, they should keep them out of public schools. But even that may not be a permissible option for much longer, based on the ruling of 2014.

Educational Choice:

The Romeikes are a Christian German family who sought to teach their children at home according to their beliefs. But German law requires that all students attend state or state-approved schools. So the Remeikes fled to the U.S. in search of asylum.

In the case of Romeike v. Holder, the family argued that the right of parents to direct the education of their children is a fundamental human right, and that the denial of this right by the state of Germany constitutes tyranny. The Department of Justice argued to the contrary, that no such right exists and that if it does, its infringement by the government is still somehow acceptable.

In March of last year (2014), the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the lower court ruling – a ruling favoring the DOJ – to stand. The Romeikes’ asylum was revoked, and the right of parents to direct the education of their children was left on very shaky ground. (The Administration then reversed its deportation ruling and allowed the Romeikes to stay in the U.S., but the damage to parental rights remains.)

gavel image

CREDIT: istockphoto

In fact, several academic journals over the last few years have featured claims by academic elites “that public education should be mandatory and universal.” Says Emory University Law professor Martha Albertson Fineman, “Parental expressive interest could supplement but never supplant the public institutions where the basic fundamental lesson would be taught and experienced by all American children: we must struggle together to define ourselves both as a collective and as individuals.”

In the last decade there have been at least 22 attempts to expand public pre-school education, at least 31 attempts to make kindergarten mandatory, and nearly 150 efforts in 43 states to otherwise expand the compulsory attendance age range for public schools. None of these measures has been shown to improve education outcomes; they only serve to give more control to the state and less control to parents as children develop and grow. Yet an effort to roll back one such law in Colorado failed just last week, never even getting out of committee.

Once again, the law is no longer on your side. And in terms of educational rights recognized in the courts, things are getting worse.

Bureaucrats Run Amok:

In Loudermilk v. Administration for Children, Youth, and Families, a federal district court ruled that Arizona social service case workers were protected by immunity when they forced their way into a family’s home without a warrant using threats of taking the couple’s children away. Such threats, according to the court, do not constitute coercion, so the parents’ Fourth Amendment rights – says the court – were surrendered voluntarily.

diabetic child stock photo

CREDIT: istockphoto

In California, a diabetic social services worker took a little girl from her mother’s care under the incorrect assumption that the diabetic girl’s blood sugar numbers should be comparable to her own. When checked at the local hospital, the little girl was found to be healthy and stable, her numbers improved from when she was recently diagnosed with the condition.

Yet social services workers and prosecutors withheld the doctor’s findings from the judge and parents through two separate hearings. They kept the child for more than a month before parents finally saw the report and had the child returned.

Meanwhile, social workers in Kentucky just a few years ago proved completely vindictive when one mother stood up to them. Social Services took her children, children of her relatives, and even removed the children of her lawyer from the lawyer’s home!

Kentucky CPS victim

But the law is not on your side. Every state authorizes certain personnel – doctors, police, social workers (the list varies by state) – to remove your children from your care without a warrant, a court order, or any proof of abuse or neglect. In such an atmosphere, the abuses are getting worse every year.

What Can Be Done?

There is hope! This year more states than ever before have taken up parental rights legislation to protect families from state agency intrusion. And a proposed Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is planned for introduction in Congress in the weeks ahead. Once adopted, the PRA will guard the fundamental right of parents to make decisions – medical, educational, in fact all kinds of decisions – for their children.

To join the effort, sign the petition at parentalrights.org/petition.

To further support parental rights, visit parentalrights.org/donate.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

 

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

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January 21, 2015

Securing Parental Rights in Your State

This will be our busiest year to date in state legislatures. Recent victories in Virginia, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Kansas have encouraged even more states to take up the cause of parental rights.

Already five states have introduced bills to protect parental rights at the state level in 2015 with strict scrutiny review: Colorado (SB15-077, Parents’ Bill of Rights), New Jersey (S2100 introduced in 2014), North Carolina (2013’s HB711 was tabled as a study bill to be brought back to committee this year), Wyoming (HB 94), and Nebraska (bill number not yet available). In addition, Texas has introducedHCR 36, a resolution urging Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the States for ratification.

Three additional states have paved the way by locating lead sponsors who are ready to introduce legislation: Alaska, Florida, and Missouri. Yet another six states are in the process, but still looking for key sponsors. These include a resolution effort in Michigan and statute efforts in Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, and Washington.

(If your state-level effort is not listed here, please email Josh@parentalrights.org and let us know right away!)

Already Time to Act

But our parental rights statutes and Parental Rights Amendment resolutions are not the only bills relative to parental rights that we will be supporting this year. Already, we are supporting HB 130 in Mississippi (allowing for a conscientious belief exemption to Mississippi’s vaccination requirement) and HB15-1053 in Colorado (repealing a recent law that expanded the compulsory attendance ages from 7-16 to 6 -17 years). The former recognizes the right of well-informed parents to make the best medical decisions for their child, while the latter respects the right of parents to make education decisions for their child – especially over whether or not their 6-year-old is sufficiently developed to begin formal education.

It is already time to take action in Colorado, where HB15-1053 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Education Committee on January 26 (Monday). The hearing will be in Room 0112 of the state house starting at 1:30 p.m.

It would be great if we could fill the hearing with parents, students, and concerned citizens who support Rep. Ransom and her compulsory education bill. If you live in Colorado and can attend, please do so!

In addition, we will be sending a separate email to Colorado residents in the next day or so asking you to write or email the members of the House Education Committee. We may also be in touch with you soon about a hearing on Colorado SB15-077 which is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 5.

Looking Ahead

Please be on the alert over the next several months as these and other parental rights bills make their way through the legislature not only in Colorado, but in your state as well.

Also, please consider making a generous donation today to support all of these efforts to preserve parental rights in every state.

Thank you for staying connected and taking action when it is needed. Together we are securing parental rights throughout the nation, one state at a time.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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

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ParentalRights.org logo

Sign the PetitionDonateVolunteerLearn MoreView Online
January 21, 2015

Securing Parental Rights in Your State

This will be our busiest year to date in state legislatures. Recent victories in Virginia, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Kansas have encouraged even more states to take up the cause of parental rights.

Already six states have introduced bills to protect parental rights at the state level in 2015 with strict scrutiny review: Colorado (SB15-077, Parents’ Bill of Rights), New Jersey (S2100 introduced in 2014), North Carolina (2013’s HB711 was tabled as a study bill to be brought back to committee this year), Wyoming (HB 94), Missouri (HB
557), and Nebraska (bill number not yet available). In addition, Texas has introduced HCR 36, a resolution urging Congress to propose the Parental Rights Amendment to the States for ratification.

Two additional states – Alaska and Florida – have paved the way by locating lead sponsors who are ready to introduce legislation. Yet another six states are in the process, but still looking for key sponsors. These include a resolution effort in Michigan and statute efforts in Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, and Washington.

(If your state-level effort is not listed here, please email Josh@parentalrights.org and let us know right away!)

Already Time to Act

But our parental rights statutes and Parental Rights Amendment resolutions are not the only bills relative to parental rights that we will be supporting this year. Already, we are supporting HB 130 in Mississippi (allowing for a conscientious belief exemption to Mississippi’s vaccination requirement) and HB15-1053 in Colorado (repealing a recent law that expanded the compulsory attendance ages from 7-16 to 6 -17 years). The former recognizes the right of well-informed parents to make the best medical decisions for their child, while the latter respects the right of parents to make education decisions for their child – especially over whether or not their 6-year-old is sufficiently developed to begin formal education.

It is already time to take action in Colorado, where HB15-1053 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Education Committee on January 26 (Monday). The hearing will be in Room 0112 of the state house starting at 1:30 p.m.

It would be great if we could fill the hearing with parents, students, and concerned citizens who support Rep. Ransom and her compulsory education bill. If you live in Colorado and can attend, please do so!

In addition, we will be sending a separate email to Colorado residents in the next day or so asking you to write or email the members of the House Education Committee. We may also be in touch with you soon about a hearing on Colorado SB15-077 which is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 5.

Looking Ahead

Please be on the alert over the next several months as these and other parental rights bills make their way through the legislature not only in Colorado, but in your state as well.

Also, please consider making a generous donation today to support all of these efforts to preserve parental rights in every state.

Thank you for staying connected and taking action when it is needed. Together we are securing parental rights throughout the nation, one state at a time.

Sincerely,

Michael Ramey
Director of Communications & Research

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

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