"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
noranystateshallinfringeuponthisrightwithoutdemonstratingthatitsgovernmentalinterest 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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Protecting children, empowering parents
Teddy James
AFA Journal staff writer

March 2016 – John* was 13 years old in 1984 when he approached his school counselor about a problem in his home. His parents took him to church too often. The counselor listened patiently and sympathetically. She felt so much sympathy that she called social services, which immediately placed John in foster care. He was not allowed to return home that Friday afternoon.

Instead, he was placed with a foster family for the weekend. The following week, John’s parents hired a young Michael Farris to represent them in court to bring their son home. Following a recently passed law in Washington state, the judge decided John’s case was strong. He ruled that taking a teenager to church once a week is sufficient for any religion. If the parents violated his ruling, the state would take custody of John.

This was the first time Farris saw a clear and distinct violation of parental rights. Since 1984, the year of the ruling, he has seen many more. It drove him to create Home School Legal Defense Association and ParentalRights.org, two organizations fighting for the preservation and protection of parental rights across the United States.

Historical attacks
“There have been attacks against parental rights for almost 100 years,” said Will Estrada, director of federal relations for HSLDA and ParentalRights.org. “But three landmark Supreme Court cases defined and still protect parental rights.”

Meyer v State of Nebraska in 1923 stated parents had the freedom to choose to enroll their children in public or private school. The majority opinion stated, “It is the natural duty of the parent to give his children education suitable to their station of life.”

Two years later, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this opinion in Pierce v Society of Sisters with the majority saying, “The child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for the additional obligations.”

The final case of the trilogy is Wisconsin v Yoder (1972) in which the majority said, “The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.”

Modern attacks
Unfortunately, parental rights’ seat at the table of enduring American tradition(s) “is quickly eroding away,” Estrada told AFA Journal. “Modern threats to parental rights started in the 1990s. One of the flagship threats was, and is, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.” This UN treaty has the same core language as the Washington law used in the ruling against John’s parents.

Of the many provisions in the UNCRC that should trouble American parents, one is especially dangerous. It states that all judiciary decisions should be based on “the best interest of the child.” While this sounds positive, David Miranda, national grassroots director for ParentalRights.org, offered a strong caution.

“In relation to parental rights,” Miranda said, “the ‘best interest of the child’ precedent allows the government (rather than the parent) to decide what is in the best interest of the child. When you have that as the basis, parents lose most of the time.”

Previous Supreme Court decisions established the idea that a safe home with loving parents is always in the best interest of the child, but the UNCRC disagrees. ParentalRights.org says in an article, “Instead of placing the burden of proof on the government to prove that a parent is unfit, the convention places the burden of proof on those who claim that other interests are more important than the state’s characterization of the ‘best interest’ of the child.”

Future protections
To ensure parental rights are recognized as fundamental, ParentalRights.org has drafted a constitutional amendment putting the protection of parents in the black and white of the Constitution. (See amendment below.)

But to see the amendment ratified, two-thirds of the Senate must approve it, and three-fourths of the states must ratify it.

“We do not want to make the mistake we saw in the marriage debate,” Estrada said, “where a decade ago people said, ‘We need to do something, but it will never get to the point that we need a constitutional amendment at the federal level.’ Then, when they tried to get one, there were no votes. We see that as deeply instructive and believe now is the time to put parental rights in the Constitution.”

While these actions must take place in Washington, D.C., there is much parents can do to help the amendment. Miranda said everyone who is concerned about protecting parental rights can visit ParentalRights.org to sign up for email alerts. When the amendment is presented in Congress, followers will be alerted to contact their representatives to gain support for the amendment. Also, Miranda urges all citizens to be more informed and learn how to be active in the movement. The group’s website offers many more resources, and he recommendsOverruled, a 30-minute documentary (overruledmovie.com).

“The high levels of academia are right now questioning whether parents should have the right to teach their children their religion,” Miranda warned. “They believe it will benefit children to be informed on all the religious options available to them. That is why it is so important for us to amend the Constitution to protect the rights of parents as a fundamental right.”  undefined
*Name changed to protect privacy

Proposed Parental Rights Amendment

Section 1: The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.
Section 2: The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose public, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.
Section 3: The United States or any State shall not infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.
Section 4: The parental rights guaranteed by this article shall not be denied or abridged on account of disability.
Section 5: 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.

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Learn more about this issue. Visit parentalrights.org.



















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Update As Our Year Ends Thursday

-- March 28, 2016

Thanks to your help, we’ve had a busy spring. Our volunteer directors are leading 2016 or 2017 statute efforts in ten states including four with current bill numbers. We’ve had several follow-up meetings with key leaders in Congress. And our executive director, Jim Bentley, met with the legal counsel for the House Judiciary Committee to discuss our language in the Parental Rights Amendment.

All these meetings went well and we’re excited about our prospects for the rest of this Congress. I hope to have more to tell you in the coming weeks, but right now I want to remind you about an important deadline for ParentalRights.org that impacts our 2016 plans.

Thursday of this week (March 31st) is your last chance to make a donation before our new fiscal year begins on April 1.

Our board of directors will meet at the end of this week to make plans for the coming year, and one decision they will make is what projects to keep in the new budget. We make effective--some would say amazing--use of our modest receipts. Yet, as you can imagine, many decisions ultimately come down to whether or not we have the funds.

Our efforts depend on your support. If you’re able to give this spring, right now is the very best time. If you haven’t yet renewed your support for 2016, or if you’re able to make a special Fiscal Year End gift, please send a generous donation today!

If you can’t make your donation until Friday or later, that will still be helpful in getting the new fiscal year off to a healthy start. But your gift by Thursday will help our board to know just how much we can plan to accomplish in the months ahead.

I’m grateful for your continued help in this vital effort, and I hope to hear from you this week.

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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Page last updated 03/29/16