Gathering to Take Away Your Parental Rights

We’ve known it for years: extreme self-identified “experts” will argue away your right to make the best decisions for your child.

We knew it last year when Dr. Barbara Knox, who was put on administrative leave from her Wisconsin hospital for bullying colleagues into supporting child abuse allegations–even in the absence of any medical evidence–ended up instead as the head of a specialty child abuse clinic in Alaska.

We knew it in 2017 when College of William and Mary professor James Dwyer declared, “The reason the parent-child relationship exists is because the State confers legal parenthood on people through its paternity and maternity laws” (emphasis added).

We knew it years before either of these, when Harvard University professor Elizabeth Bartholet wrote in her seminal work, Nobody’s Children (2000), that the reason for racial disparity in child welfare is not that states take too many minority children from their parents, but that the system doesn’t take away enough white children.

And recently we could see them actually coming together to stage a coordinated attack.

These three—Knox, Dwyer, and Bartholet—are among several elitist speakers who were slated to present their radical, anti-family views at an invitation-only, anti-homeschooling conference that, before the pandemic shut it down, was to be held at Harvard in June.

Now, let me be clear: if you think this is only about homeschooling, you haven’t been paying attention. Maybe take a moment to reread the first several paragraphs of this letter and see the dots that this conference would connect.

Medical power. Legal authority. And the might to traumatize children by separating them from their homes.

The conference, which will no doubt be rescheduled, is about homeschooling in its title and on its surface only. These elites are coming for your children, period. They are coming for the power to dictate how every child in America is to be raised.

Raised to act, look, and–especially–to think, not only “just like everyone else,” but just like Bartholet, Dwyer, and Knox.

In a recent article in the Arizona Law Review, and in an even more recent interview in the Harvard Times, Bartholet makes their intentions plain.  In both, she calls for “a presumptive ban on homeschooling,” which would require parents to seek permission before exercising their internationally recognized “prior right to decide the kind of education that will be given to their children” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26.3, 1948).

If they get their way—if we are not there to halt their draconian plans for our children—your right to shape your children in freedom according to your own convictions and beliefs will be taken away forever.

From the beginning, the family has been the backbone of American freedom, stability, and even innovation. From its earliest case on the subject, the Supreme Court has held that “[t]he 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 additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925) at 535

But that’s not all the Court said. They declared, “The fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes any general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction from public teachers only.”

This freedom, this opportunity for independence of thought and belief, is not only an American ideal (contrary to Bartholet’s position), but “the fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in [the United States] repose.”

To lose this freedom would be no small loss to our country.

The Supreme Court understood that, with enough power, a government can train children so that in adulthood they will willingly lay aside their right to bear arms, their freedom of press, and even their freedoms of religion and speech.

Your right to pass on your values to your children is the lone bastion that keeps the government from shaping the next generation into servile subjects, willing to lay aside any other rights we now hold dear.

Bartholet and her colleagues are actively pursuing exactly what the Supreme Court declared they must not have: a general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept only state-sanctioned instruction.

Imagine. You can keep your children, love them, raise them. But this band of elitists will decide what they learn for more than 30 hours every week, regardless of where they go to school or who is doing the teaching.

No freedom of ideas. No diverse opinions. No exceptions.

Once your child is an adult, how much will they still think and believe as you do? How much will they still share your values and convictions? For that matter, how will they even be able to think for themselves?

To Bartholet and the others, that doesn’t matter. Because there are racists, and sexists, and others out there promoting poor values, these scholars want to take away your parental freedom to instill your good values and your child’s right to a solid worldview foundation. They would throw out the good of your liberty and your child’s future freedoms to get rid of the ills of racism and the like.

But that is not how our country works, nor how it was intended to work. As the Supreme Court declared in one of my favorite decisions, “The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Parham v. J.R., 442 U.S. 584 (1979), at 603.

For Bartholet and Dwyer, it is the tradition that should be thrown out, and not their statist views. In her Arizona Law Review article, Bartholet identifies as a “barrier” “the emphasis in the language of the Constitution on protecting individual rights against state action.”

Maybe this should be a clue: if the Constitution of the United States is keeping you from doing what you want to do, maybe the people don’t want you doing it in the first place.

In conclusion, their Harvard conference is not just about homeschooling. And is not just about parental rights, either. Our current stand protects every right, every freedom, from extinction in a single generation.

This parental rights movement, made of and our allies, is the only bastion standing in the way of Bartholet’s plans for our children. And you are the only source empowering this vital defense.

That’s because is funded entirely by private donors just like you. Without your generous support, we would not exist, and there would be virtually no one standing in Harvard’s way.

The climb is steep, but the need is great.

Can I count on you to make a difference with your most generous donation of $20, $50, or even $100 today? We cannot stand up to Bartholet and her ilk without you.

Thank you for standing with us to defend the Constitution—and the families it protects—from these shocking attacks by arrogant academic elites.


Michael Ramey
Executive Director

P.S. Elitists like Bartholet, Dwyer, and Knox aren’t looking to protect your children; they’re looking to shape them into a likeness of the elitists’ own choosing. If they get their way, it’s not just your family that will be affected; the foundations of American society can crumble in a generation. Will you join us today as we continue the fight to stop that from happening and to keep good families free? Their symposium on homeschooling is just another thinly veiled attempt to take away your rights as a parent and your child’s right to your protection. We must fight back.