State legislatures, along with enthusiastic parents, are proposing parental rights legislation. A national group tracking parental rights legislation reports 15 states have adopted statutes that “protect” parental rights. They believe enshrining parental rights into law will make parental rights more powerful, but history suggests otherwise.
Infringements on parents are happening everywhere. Schools are teaching children inappropriate sexual information, teaching children they are nothing more than a color or gender, recruiting children into gender dysphoria, hiding the evidence from parents, facilitating access to unauthorized medical treatment for children, and instructing children not to tell their parents what is happening. Finding the means to prevent atrocious encroachments on the relationship between children and parents is urgent and necessary.
What if Parental Rights laws only serve to undermine actual parental rights?
Our Founding Fathers believed our rights are inalienable and incapable of surrendering or transferring because they are given to us by our Creator. Our rights do not come from the government — they come from God. Our Founding Fathers recognized that by codifying rights, the definition and scope of the rights become legitimate points of debate; hence they did not originally want to write the Bill of Rights.
An excellent explanation of Constitutional Rights comes from The Law Firm of Robert J. Frank & Assoc. LLC:
The U.S. Constitution recognizes that human beings have “certain inalienable rights” to which they are entitled which arise as a matter of natural right. The most important of these rights are called “Fundamental Rights.” Fundamental Rights are rights that are so “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” that “neither liberty nor justice would exist if they were sacrificed.” The Supreme Court has recognized that fundamental rights include… special “liberty” interests… “the rights to marry, to have children, to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children, to marital privacy, and to bodily integrity.”
Enumerated rights are a target for government control and regulation. Consider the current conversations concerning the right of free speech and the right to bear arms. The arbitrary assertion limits free speech, that only non-offensive speech is permitted. The right to bear arms is considered acceptable only if the arms are just for sport hunting and are licensed by the government.
From the proposed South Carolina Parental Bill of Rights:
TO PROHIBIT CERTAIN GOVERNMENT INFRINGEMENT ON THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF PARENTS TO DIRECT THE UPBRINGING, EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE OF THEIR CHILDREN EXCEPT IN LIMITED CIRCUMSTANCES.
“Certain” infringement? Prohibited “except in limited circumstances?” Who decides which infringements? Who defines the exceptions? Legislation attempts to define the details, but the implementing bureaucracy has leverage to the details, and legislation can be modified over time. This is very dangerous wording.
From North Carolina Senate Bill 49:
AN ACT TO ENUMERATE THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS TO DIRECT THE UPBRINGING, EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND MENTAL HEALTH OF THEIR MINOR CHILDREN.
Is it possible to “enumerate” all parental rights? And the enumerated rights in this section have vague exceptions and are subject to interpretation. The North Carolina legislation also says:
The requirements of this Article do not prohibit the following: (1) A State official or employee from acting in his or her official capacity within the reasonable and prudent scope of his or her authority.
We have seen government health agencies seriously disregard individual rights and liberties in their “official capacity.” Why would we condone an exception articulated in the South Carolina legislation to parental rights? Consider this:
The provisions of this chapter apply notwithstanding any conflicting temporary provision in a declaration of a state of emergency by the Governor or a health care state of emergency declared by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
This exception opens the door to authorities forcibly taking children if parents object to experimental inoculations, abortion, and even “gender-affirming” treatments.
We must support laws restricting the rights of non-parental authorities concerning children. Here is an example from the South Carolina legislation:
Important information relating to a child should not be withheld, either inadvertently or purposefully, from his or her parent, including information relating to the child's health, well-being, and education, while the child is in the custody of the school district;
We must also support laws that direct schools to do the right things, as identified in the North Carolina legislation:
Establish a procedure for parents to learn about their child’s course of study and the source of any supplemental instructional materials. This procedure shall include the process for parents to inspect and review all textbooks and supplementary instructional materials used in their child’s classroom.
The devastating increase in adults intentionally undermining the relationship between parents and their children is alarming and must not continue. I applaud the efforts of legislators seeking to fix this tragedy. God-given parental rights cannot be enumerated. The solution lies in laws that define, identify, and punish offenders.
Sheri Few is the Founder and President of United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE) whose mission is to end the US Department of Education and all federal education mandates. USPIE has established 20 state chapters and is growing rapidly amid the national outcry from parents who want to regain control of their children’s education. Few is a nationally recognized leader on education policy and is often quoted in conservative media. Few has spent much of the last year exposing critical race theory and serving as Executive Producer for the new documentary film titled “Truth & Lies in American Education.”