PROPOSED PARENTAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION
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.
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.
The right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children has been recognized and upheld for centuries. But there are dark clouds on the horizon.
Today parental rights are coming under assault from federal judges who deny or refuse to recognize these rights. Adding further danger to the child-parent relationship, international law seeking to undermine the parental role is advancing on the horizon. Together, these threats are converging to create a “perfect storm” that looms over the child-parent relationship.
In the early 1980s, a landmark parental rights case reached the Washington State Supreme Court. The case involved 13-year-old Sheila Marie Sumey, whose parents were alarmed when they found evidence of their daughter’s participation in illegal drug activity and escalating sexual involvement. Their response was to act immediately to cut off the negative influences in their daughter’s life by grounding her.
But when Sheila 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.
Her parents, desperate to get their daughter back, challenged the actions of the social workers in court. They lost. 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.1