Following is the original proposed wording. The amendment has been tweaked over the years; the current wording is at the bottom of this post, some of it very different from the original. However, the offending passage remains: it’s Section 2 in the old version below and in Section 3 of the current version at the bottom.
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right. [<<< Truth! The amendment could end right here!]
Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest as applied to the person is of the highest order and not otherwise served. [Trouble, explained below.]
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. [<<< Ok, we can keep this, too.]
At first glance, it sounds pretty good. In fact, I signed the petition endorsing it before I fully comprehended what it actually says in Section 2.
Section 2 actually subjugates parents’ rights to the State:
“Neither the United States nor any state shall infringe upon this right without demonstrating that its governmental interest … is of the highest order and not otherwise served.”
IOW, parents have the fundamental right UNTIL a government agency demonstrates its interest is of “the highest order”, higher than the parents.
Everyone who trusts that the State will use this constitutional authority wisely and without prejudice, raise your hand.
There are already laws against doing harm to another human being, big or little. You can already lose parental rights if you harm your child in any way.
Quick primer on rights: they can’t be given nor taken away. You have them by virtue of your humanity, as Judge Napolitano says. You are born with them.
What this amendment will do is give constitutional authority for the State to take away your child if
- your child is fat
- you don’t fully vaccinate according to the state’s schedule
- your child is homeschooled and the state disagrees with your methods or timing
- your child brings inappropriate foods for lunch
- you choose alternative medicine for your child
The list of offenses for which parents have already lost their children is long. The HSLDA attorneys agree! They say this amendment will protect children from arbitrary takings. I just don’t know.
The current “Parental Rights” Amendment as of 12/28/17:
The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children is a fundamental right.
The parental right to direct education includes the right to choose, as an alternative to public education, private, religious, or home schools, and the right to make reasonable choices within public schools for one’s child.
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. [emphasis mine]
The parental rights guaranteed by this article shall not be denied or abridged on account of disability.
This article shall not be construed to apply to a parental action or decision that would end life. [I assume they mean murder but this can also be about medical decisions.]