In an era when parental rights are under attack, and government officials from public school teachers to legislators are declaring they know better than parents how their children should be raised, Congress is pushing back with the introduction of the Parental Rights Amendment, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Az.
The House resolution, which hasn’t received an official bill number yet, would propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education and care of their children. Such rights, already affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in cases decided since the 1920s, are at risk of being lost by future court decisions unless firmly established in the Constitution.
Here’s what the text of the Amendment would say:
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.
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.
The bill has received endorsements from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and ParentalRights.org.
In a press release, ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Advocacy Strategy Emilie Kao explained the need for the Amendment:
“Parents have the fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children,” Kao said. “Sadly, as parents have stood before local school boards and state legislatures across the country to claim that right, they’ve been met by government officials who declare themselves the ultimate determiners of what’s best for children.
“This includes growing instances of schools actively hiding controversial curricula and critical information about children’s mental and physical health from parents. Thankfully, a growing coalition of parents, leaders, and organizations is standing up for the protection of our children and the fundamental rights of parents.
“Parents have a right to raise and educate their children consistent with their beliefs and values. Such a vital and fundamental right warrants explicit protection in our Constitution,” Kao added.
Officials with ParentalRights.org and the Parental Rights Foundation also endorsed the Amendment:
“The Supreme Court has recognized parental rights for a century, but parental rights are just too important to be left to Supreme Court precedent alone,” Will Estrada, president of ParentalRights.org and the Parental Rights Foundation, stated. “This Amendment will enshrine these traditional rights in the black-and-white of the Constitution, preserving that parental role for generations to come.”
“The Supreme Court in 1923 said ‘the child is not the mere creature of the State,’ but many of today’s bureaucrats have lost sight of that,” said Jim Mason, chairman of the board for the Parental Rights Foundation and ParentalRights.org. “This Amendment will permanently codify that precedent and restore a proper respect for the vital parent-child bond in America.”
The resolution containing the proposed Amendment has been introduced in every one of the last eight sessions of Congress but has yet to pass. Parents, however, outraged at recent actions by school boards that push radical gender identity policies and keep parents in the dark about their own children’s struggles, and who teach critical race theory and questionable sex education rather than reading, writing and arithmetic, are more than ready to assert their parental rights.
School officials aren’t the only threat to parental rights, however.
One Virginia state legislator went so far as to recently introduce a bill to criminalize parents who don’t affirm their child’s sexual identity confusion. In California, a new law creates a “sanctuary state” for child “sex changes,” elbowing out parents’ objections in the process.
The agenda to indoctrinate our children and simultaneously remove parents’ rights to stop it is quickly turning into a tsunami in areas of the country controlled by the Left. And parents are awakening to the danger.
Parents are already telling pollsters that parental rights will be one of their top concerns influencing how they vote in November. One concerned U.S. senator recently introduced the Parental Rights Over the Education and Care of Their Kids Act (PROTECT Act), accomplishing much of what the Parental Rights Amendment promises.
But a constitutional amendment is much harder to repeal down the road than a federal statute, making the Parental Rights Amendment a much stronger foundation for parental rights in U.S. law.
God ordains parents to care for and direct the upbringing of their children. It’s all part of the creation order of things. Parenting is the first social institution He set in place after marriage. Parents, and Christian parents in particular, are well aware of the Bible’s admonition to “train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV).
Parents, it’s time to rise up and support laws that allow us to do exactly that.
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