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.


Grading Parents?
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.


Child ReadingVirginia 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

Child and Parent

Special Report: The State of Parental Rights in America, 2017

By neonadmin | February 20, 2017

The Supreme Court once declared, “This primary role of parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972) at 232. So, how are we doing with that “enduring American tradition” today? Unfortunately, not so well. Even with advances in some…

Mom Shocked When School Pulled Son's Teeth

By neonadmin | February 2, 2017

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No Parents Allowed

Removing Parents from Public Schools

By neonadmin | December 16, 2014

As a parent of a public-school child, you may not have any say in what, when, or how your children are taught about controversial subjects. Meanwhile, even local schools and state departments of education are losing authority over education decisions to a smaller and more centralized group of “experts” who are further away from and…

Common Core

Common Core: The "State-Led" Myth

By neonadmin | May 2, 2013

Since its introduction in 2008, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, or “Common Core” (CCSSI) has been touted as a “voluntary, state led” initiative to adopt a common set of academic standards for all states in the country. As it turns out, the development of Common Core was not state-led, and participation, while technically voluntary,…

National Database of School Children Launched

National Database of School Children Launched

By neonadmin | March 20, 2013

[Updated 6/6/17] Last week the SXSWedu Technology Conference in Austin, Texas, featured a new project that has many educational technology companies very excited – and that has many parents angry and deeply concerned. The project is called inBloom – a massive national database of personal information on public school students – and it is already…

Mom at School

Why Are Schools Banning Mom and Dad?

By neonadmin | December 12, 2011

© istockphoto/IsaacLKoval [Updated 6/6/17] When we were in school, several parents were there on a regular basis helping out in the classroom or the library, chaperoning field trips, or leading special reading or art programs. They were just doing their part to improve our education. But parents are not allowed in public schools today. Sure,…

No Parents Allowed

Parents of 50 Million U.S. Children Soon to Lose Parental Rights

By neonadmin | August 26, 2010

[Updated 6/6/17] If your children attend public school, you are among those parents whose rights will end the moment your child enters the school. That’s because in 2005 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found in Fields v. Palmdale School District “that the Meyer-Pierce right [of parents to direct the upbringing of their children] does…

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