Parental Rights and Education
The area of education sees the tension between parents and a group of professional elites who believe they can better make decisions for all children.
- Public School: "No Parents Allowed" - 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.
- Public School: Parents Are Losing Say Regarding Content - 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) See below for some specific examples.
- Homeschool: Parental Rights to Educational Choice Being Questioned - Several academic journals over the last few years have featured claims by academic elitists “that public education should be mandatory and universal.” See below for several examples of homeschool families who, although homeschooling legally, had their decision undermined.
Real Stories; Real Problems
Parents Banned from Sending Lunch
Some school districts have banned parents from sending a lunch with their child, requiring that they buy school-provided lunch instead.
Parents Banned from Walking Their Children to School
One school system chose to ban parents from walking their own children to school.
A Mississippi bill introduced in 2016 would have required public school teachers to give parents a grade. No, not their children's grades – but an actual grade of their own. Are you involved in your child's education? Attend conferences? Don't give the teacher a lot of push back or ask too many questions? Then you would get an "A". On the other hand, if you cause too much trouble, you could get a failing mark. The bill actually passed the Mississippi House, but fortunately did not make it into law.
Trouble Picking Up Daughter
In Tennessee, a dad was arrested trying to pick up his special-needs daughter at the end of the school day. No fighting, no yelling. Just asking for his children and not backing down.
Parents Can’t Walk Children to School
In the spring of 2016, a school in Texas outlawed parents from walking their children to school, claiming the ban would promote safety. Parents walking their own children to school on school property are now considered trespassing when they're on school property.
Virginia Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Warned Parents of Sexually Explicit Material in Reading Assignments
In 2016, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would require schools to alert parents when a required reading assignment will contain sexually explicit material. Parents who championed the bill were able to persuade lawmakers of the need when, in multiple instances, school officials and lawmakers themselves had to ask parents to stop reading sample passages because they were "obscene" or "indecent." Yet the governor decided that warning parents of the material would interfere too much in the education process.
German Homeschool Family Initially Denied Asylum
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 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.)
Children Taken Away from Mother Legally Homeschooling
Mother Kiarre Harris decided in December 2016 to remove her two children from Buffalo's failing schools. Per state law, she filed all of the required paperwork with Buffalo City Hall and told the school she was beginning to homeschool the youngsters. A few weeks later, Child Protective Services and the police showed up to take her kids. When she wouldn't reveal where the children were, she was arrested and jailed on obstruction charges, while her children were located and taken to foster care.
New York Truancy Charges Against Legally Homeschooling Parents
Home School Legal Defense Association recently filed suit against New York for routinely charging "truancy" and taking children away from parents who have fulfilled all of the statutory requirements to teach their children at home. New York law permits parents to choose this educational alternative, but the state's message is clear: if you make that choice, we will fabricate a reason to take your child.
Children Taken Away Because Guardian Opposes Family's Educational Choice
A judge in Texas took the Tutts’ children away at the urging of a guardian ad litem who confesses there are no signs of abuse or neglect. Yet she implicated statutory language likely to cause the children to be removed (which it did), apparently because she opposes the family’s choice to teach their children at home.
More Education and Parental Rights Stories
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