Monday, July 20, 2009

The Parental Rights Question

Pat and Larry Kaseman write for Home Education Magazine, and I love their columns because they focus on issues that come up for homeschoolers, such as how US adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child might impact us, and they always manage to strike the right tone for me on these issues.

Their latest, about the proposed parental rights amendment to the Constitution, is a great example. There has been much discussion and nail-biting among the homeschoolers we know about whether to fight for or against such an amendment, and I have been on the fence. With this latest article, the Kasemans make a clear case against it. They write:

Our parental rights exist prior to and independent of anything done by the government, so a parental rights amendment is unnecessary. Our rights are part of being a parent, a fact that is based on common sense and is commonly agreed on by parents and the general public and upheld by US court decisions. They are natural or God-given rights that will be weakened if parents ask the government to validate or protect them. When US courts have ruled in cases involving how a parent raises their child, which are primarily cases involving education and/or religion, courts have consistently ruled in parents' favor.

I take comfort from the fact that courts consistently rule in parents' favor when push comes to shove, and I'll sleep better with the Kasemans' matter-of-fact words in my head.

Do you have an opinion on this issue? If so, I would love to hear it.

Sorry to get all serious like this - my next post will be a return to muskets and memories!


Anonymous said...

I agree with you and the Kasemens! Thank you for this. : )

Dana @ Our Sunny Side said...

I am on the fence on this one. On one hand I agree with what the Kasemans say...particularly about asking the govt to validate our rights as parents (which seems absurd) but on the other hand I have heard numerous stories of social workers and other enforcements who feel they should be deciding what is right for a child.

I'm going to read the Kaseman's argument now. Thanks for the link.