Parental Rights & Education

Our nation boasts some of the best public (and private) educators in the world. Unfortunately, we also have some teachers and administrators whose work and worldview are less than ideal.

Too often, the area of education sees the tension between parents and a group of professional elites who believe they can better make decisions for all children.

We're seeing this affect both

It's important that parents both know and understand their rights.

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Parental Rights & Education in the News

Note: Parental Rights Foundations does not necessarily agree with all views expressed in these articles. They are provided here to give a glimpse into what is happening in the news.

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Read Our Letter to the Fairfax County School District Reminding them of Virginia’s Parental Rights Statute

July 14, 2022

Today, the Parental Rights Foundation mailed a letter to the Fairfax County School District, requesting information on whether they are following Virginia law. Due to reporting on July 5 that raised questions about whether the school district is hiding information from parents, we asked Fairfax County School District whether they…

Oregon Order Set to Repeat History

November 4, 2020

An executive order in Oregon threatens parents’ ability to exercise their fundamental right to make education choices for their children. According to this article at the Federalist, Governor Kate Brown has recently ordered that private schools smaller than 75 students must not return to on-site instruction, even while opening the…

Parents Banned from Sending Lunch
Some school districts have banned parents from sending a lunch with their child, requiring that they buy school-provided lunch instead.

Parents Banned from Walking Their Children to School
One school system chose to ban parents from walking their own children to school.

Grading Parents?
A Mississippi bill introduced in 2016 would have required public school teachers to give parents a grade. No, not their children's grades – but an actual grade of their own. Are you involved in your child's education? Attend conferences? Don't give the teacher a lot of push back or ask too many questions? Then you would get an "A". On the other hand, if you cause too much trouble, you could get a failing mark. The bill actually passed the Mississippi House, but fortunately did not make it into law.

Trouble Picking Up Daughter
In Tennessee, a dad was arrested trying to pick up his special-needs daughter at the end of the school day. No fighting, no yelling. Just asking for his children and not backing down.

Parents Can’t Walk Children to School
In the spring of 2016, a school in Texas outlawed parents from walking their children to school, claiming the ban would promote safety. Parents walking their own children to school on school property are now considered trespassing when they're on school property.

Child ReadingVirginia Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Have Warned Parents of Sexually Explicit Material in Reading Assignments
In 2016, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would require schools to alert parents when a required reading assignment will contain sexually explicit material. Parents who championed the bill were able to persuade lawmakers of the need when, in multiple instances, school officials and lawmakers themselves had to ask parents to stop reading sample passages because they were "obscene" or "indecent." Yet the governor decided that warning parents of the material would interfere too much in the education process.

German Homeschool Family Initially Denied Asylum
The Romeikes are a Christian German family who sought to teach their children at home according to their beliefs. But German law requires that all students attend state or state-approved schools. So the Remeikes fled to the U.S. in search of asylum.

In the case of Romeike v. Holder, the family argued that the right of parents to direct the education of their children is a fundamental human right, and that the denial of this right by the state of Germany constitutes tyranny. The Department of Justice argued to the contrary, that no such right exists and that if it does, its infringement by the government is still somehow acceptable.

In March of 2014, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the lower court ruling – a ruling favoring the DOJ – to stand. The Romeikes’ asylum was revoked, and the right of parents to direct the education of their children was left on very shaky ground. (The Administration then reversed its deportation ruling and allowed the Romeikes to stay in the U.S., but the damage to parental rights remains.)

Children Taken Away from Mother Legally Homeschooling
Mother Kiarre Harris decided in December 2016 to remove her two children from Buffalo's failing schools. Per state law, she filed all of the required paperwork with Buffalo City Hall and told the school she was beginning to homeschool the youngsters. A few weeks later, Child Protective Services and the police showed up to take her kids. When she wouldn't reveal where the children were, she was arrested and jailed on obstruction charges, while her children were located and taken to foster care.

New York Truancy Charges Against Legally Homeschooling Parents
Home School Legal Defense Association recently filed suit against New York for routinely charging "truancy" and taking children away from parents who have fulfilled all of the statutory requirements to teach their children at home. New York law permits parents to choose this educational alternative, but the state's message is clear: if you make that choice, we will fabricate a reason to take your child.

Children Taken Away Because Guardian Opposes Family's Educational Choice
A judge in Texas took the Tutts’ children away at the urging of a guardian ad litem who confesses there are no signs of abuse or neglect. Yet she implicated statutory language likely to cause the children to be removed (which it did), apparently because she opposes the family’s choice to teach their children at home.