Are your rights as a parent free from governmental interference?
Do you believe that the government will only involve itself in cases of abuse and/or neglect?
The following ten questions are designed to test your knowledge of events that have affected the parent-child relationship in the United States. The last 5 questions pertain, specifically, to a treaty that has been ratified by many U.N. countries around the world.
TRUE or FALSE
- Child protective services forcibly removed a 13 year old boy from his parents after he complained to a school counselor that they took him to church too often (twice on Sunday and once on Wednesday).
- You have a legal right to know if your teenage children will receive or have received medical treatment through the public schools.
- In most states parents are held liable for public library fines issued to their children, but, they are denied access to information about the titles of the books.
- A 13 year old girl was ‘liberated from her parents’ after she complained of being grounded for smoking marijuana and having sex with her boyfriend.
- A mother in Illinois was twice refused her request to opt her daughter out of sexual education lectures that she found objectionable.
- The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC), which would allow the government to determine the “best interest of the child” (even in cases where there has been no parental neglect or abuse) and supersede all parental power, has been signed by the United States.
- If the UN CRC is ratified, religious schools would no longer be allowed to teach that Christianity is the only true religion and would be forced to teach “alternative worldviews.”
- Under the UN CRC, a child’s “right to be heard” would allow them to seek governmental review of any parental decision with which the child disagreed.
- Parents would still have the right to “opt out” their children from sex education.
- Proponents of the treaty are on the move and claim to be near victory.
- TRUE. The child was placed in foster care until the parents agreed to a Superior Court Judge’s demands that the child be taken to church no more than one time per week.
- FALSE. Schools are not required to notify, request permission, or inform the parents of any medical treatment their children receive. In some states, this includes abortion procedures.
- TRUE. Many states have laws that protect the “right to privacy” in children 9 years old and older, so parents cannot see materials that their children have checked out.
- TRUE. In the early 1980s, 13-year-old Sheila Marie Sumey, whose parents grounded her, went to her school counselors complaining about her parent’s actions. She was advised that she could be liberated from her parents because there was “conflict between parent and child.” Listening to the advice she had received, Sheila notified Child Protective Services (CPS) about her situation. She was subsequently removed from her home and placed in foster care. Even though the judge found that Sheila’s parents had enforced reasonable rules in a proper manner, the state law nevertheless gave CPS the authority to split apart the Sumey family and take Sheila away. (In Re: Sumey, 94 Wn. 2d 757, 621 P. 2d 108 (1980))
- TRUE. 35 states require sexual education as part of the curriculum. Of these, only three states require parental consent and 11 states do not permit opting out of the course at all.
- TRUE. President Clinton signed the UN CRC in 1995, however, the Senate has not voted on ratification. If ratified, it would supersede all current family law on the books and a committee of 18 U.N. ‘experts’ from other nations would have the authority to issue official interpretations of the treaty which would be entitled to binding weight in American courts.
- TRUE. Religious schools that teach that theirs is the only true religion “fly in the face of article 29” of the treaty according to the American Bar Association.
- TRUE. The treaty specifically outlaws all corporal punishment and has been interpreted (in Sweden) to disallow any punishment without the consent of the child (including “time out”).
- FALSE. The notion of “opting out” has been held to be out of compliance with the treaty. Today, even in states where “opting out” is allowed for sex education, parents have no right to oppose specific parts of a curriculum. In Parker v. Hurley, 514 F. 3d 87 (2008), a federal appeals court found that parents who opposed a part of a school curriculum related to homosexual rights and practices did not have the right to opt their kindergarten child out or be informed in advance of the curriculum content.
- TRUE. A meeting was held at the White House recently to discuss ratification, and the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child claim they are near the 67 Senate votes needed for ratification.
Current law on parental rights tells parents that they have no say over their children once they enter the door of a public school.
In Fields v. Palmdale School District, 427 F. 3d 1197 (2005), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals “affirm[ed] that the [fundamental parental] right does not extend beyond the threshold of the school door.” Numerous school boards have determined that parents do not even have a constitutional right to be present on the school grounds where their child attends. See http://www.erusd.k12.ca.us/ERUSDPolicies/1250.pdf
What can we do?
Senate Resolution 99 is currently being considered as a statement against the ratification of the UN CRC Treaty. There are 31 co-sponsors to date. If 34 sign the resolution, the chance of ratification during this congress decreases significantly.
The Parental Rights Amendment has been submitted as an amendment to the Constitution to grant parents the fundamental right to the upbringing and education of their children. This would prevent treaties from superseding, modifying or interpreting these rights.
Learn more at ParentalRights.org
View the Documentary
March 28, 2011