There is no question that parental rights are under attack. CPS and police state abuses are rampant everywhere you look. Kids are being removed from safe and loving homes for crimes like seeking a second medical opinion, refusing to follow doctor’s orders, home-schooling, home-birthing, and taking a harmless mineral supplement. A quick visit to MedicalKidnap.com is pretty eye-opening.
Something has gotta give, no question about it. But a careful read of the so-called “Parental Rights” Amendment (to the U.S. Constitution) and you know this ain’t it.
The Parental Rights Amendment is deeply flawed.
Because it was written by the legal scholars behind the Home School Legal Defense Association, I believe it is well-meaning. I’ve even traded emails with Michael Ramey at the HSLDA, arguing my case, as it were. While he makes interesting points, it’s clear that he has faith in the U.S. court system. Which makes sense, he’s a lawyer.
I do not have such faith. I’ve been a victim of the court system and seen waaay to many others be victimized as well. Many of them are in jail right now.
The amendment is written in English and I can read. Legal scholar or no, HSLDA is flat out wrong on how this amendment will be interpreted by judges and politicians, then used against parents.
It ultimately subjugates ALL parental rights to a judge. ALL of them. A judge has final authority. That is effectively what we have now!
Passing this amendment will change nothing about the way the government operates now. What it will do is give judges unassailable, unquestionable legal and CONSTITUTIONAL authority over our children. Is this what parents want?
Be aware: the amendment has been rewritten several times since I found it online several years ago. No telling what it will read by the time it reaches a decision! Here are the provisions to date:
SECTION ONE “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.”
Yay, they got this right.
SECTION TWO “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.”
Who will determine what are “reasonable choices”? A judge, that’s who. Or a teacher, and then a judge. Just not you, the parent.
SECTION THREE “Neither the United States nor any State shall infringe these rights without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
This one makes me laugh out loud. Who will determine whether or not the government’s interest is of the “highest order” and not “otherwise served”? A judge. Not you, the parent.
SECTION FOUR “This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life.”
What are the actual goals of this amendment? Is this really an anti-abortion bill? Fine, but say so. This section makes me think there’s a hidden agenda, which is extremely worrisome.
SECTION FIVE “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.”
They got this section right, too. This amendment was written in reaction to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which is a pretty scary treaty. You can read about that and the HSLDA’s justification for the amendment here.
The threats are real. This proposed solution, however, is worse than doing nothing.
Parents don’t need an amendment.
The fact is, we parents already have 100% authority over our kids. Our children are our “property”* and we parents have sole dominion over them. Yes, our government ignores this fact because it suits them. What makes anyone think it won’t ignore another amendment to the U.S. Constitution?
*When I call children “property,” I mean that our (my husband’s and my) kids are our responsibility and ours alone. We, the parents, are in complete control of their well-being which is anything and everything having to do with their lives: food, education, lifestyle, housing, sanitation, clothing, etc. Of course, we may not dispose of our children in any way we see fit as we can our other property. We may not harm them, lose them to gambling debts, rent them, sell them… although in many cultures, parents have done and, in some places, still do just that by way of dowrys and arranged marriages. Where does one draw the line? Addressed next:
There are already laws against hurting another human being. Those laws are enforceable against parents who hurt their children. We’ll save the very important question of “what constitutes harm” for another day. There’s a much lower standard when talking about protecting the children.
What the Founders Said
It’s good to keep in mind that the most abiding argument the Founders had was on whether or not to include an amendment for every natural right. In the end, they decided no. Why? Because a judge can interpret anything any way they choose.
The Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence were written to declare our unalienable individual rights against government over-reach.
Unalienable: that which cannot be given away or taken away.
We have natural rights to property, including our bodies, our children, our earnings, all that we purchase with our earnings, and our labor. Period.
What is the Solution?
If you want to protect parental rights:
- SPEAK UP when you see something bad happen to a friend or neighbor. Yes, it’s scary. As my mentor used to tell me: feel the fear and do it anyway.
- Record everything. Every word.
- Offer to help any parent who’s children have been taken.
- Go with the parent(s) to CPS showdowns and court appearances. A bunch of us did this for a friend, went to a CPS hearing at the offices in Lexington. We refused to identify ourselves, two people openly videotaped the meeting. CPS backed right down and were never heard from again. In fact, the CPS employee who started the fraudulent accusations was quietly let go.
CPS, like most out-of-control agencies, prefers to operate in the dark. Don’t allow that, be the sunshine.
- Financially support organizations that go to bat for citizens against government. These days, there are many, including the Home School Legal Defense Association. There’s Institute for Justice, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund, Texas Home School Coalition, to name a few.
- Elect local and state legislators, including Governor, who will stand firm against abuse of citizens by any agency, whether local, state or federal. These would be legislators who are well versed in your state’s Constitution as well as the U.S. Constitution in its entirety and the 10th Amendment in particular.
The only other requirement of a good legislator is a SPINE.
We parents don’t need a “parental rights” amendment. We need legislators who will actually defend the Constitution from enemies both foreign and domestic. That would be an excellent start.
Gratuitous pitch for Matt Bevin for #KyGov
We are lucky in KY to have not only Rand Paul and Thomas Massie, both vocal and tireless defenders of liberty, but now Matt Bevin and Jenean Hampton, the Republican nominees for Governor and Lt. Governor.
As the father of nine kids, all currently being homeschooled, Matt personally understands that CPS is yet another agency out-of-control and has stated publicly that it needs investigation.
Bear in mind that Attorney General Jack Conway, the Democratic nominee and Bevin’s opponent, has made his living fostering KY’s budding police state: jailing pot smokers and drug addicts, allowing kids to be taken from parents without due process, allowing cops to get away with murder, among other atrocities. The last thing KY needs is to have him run the state.