We are very excited to report that constituents all over Florida are getting involved and reaching out to their congressmen . . . and getting results!
Annie Baker and son, Jordan Baker, led a group to visit freshman Congressman Nugent who, recognizing the significance of the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA), told the group that he would call Congressman Trent Franks (lead sponsor of the PRA) right away and become an original cosponsor!
Congressman Nugent with parental rights champions
In South Florida, when Congressman Allen West was asked in a town hall meeting if he would cosponsor the PRA, his affirmative answer received a hearty applause from the people!
And Congressman Jeff Miller assured a ParentalRights.org volunteer that he plans to re-cosponsor the PRA as soon as it is introduced in the House.
In the next two weeks, ParentalRights.org Florida would like to meet with congressmen all over the state, and we need YOU, the constituents, to join us in this effort. If you would like to get involved in this statewide move to get support for parental rights from our representatives, please contact me as soon as possible at email@example.com.
If you have any success stories/pictures of communication with your congressman on the topic of parental rights, please share them with us by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A threat to parental rights in our own Sunshine State?!
A very significant right that parents have is the right to decide what kind of education their children will receive. This right is so central to parental rights, that it is specifically mentioned in the proposed Parental Rights Amendment. Section One reads: “The liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right.” [emphasis added]
Parents can choose public education, private education or alternatives, or homeschooling. If one of these groups suffers at the hands of government encroachment, so do the others because none of these groups exist in a vacuum. In addition, as parents suffer the abuse of their rights at the hands of government, the entire society suffers because children are members, and the future leaders, of society. Therefore, we should all be concerned when the government improperly threatens to step in and control public, private or home school parents. This is precisely the scenario we are faced with in the state of Florida. All new home school parents are being threatened with having their names submitted to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for review at the onset of their home education program. If this suggestion by the Miami-Dade grand jury became law, we would be placing the cart before the horse by assuming that all home school parents are guilty until proven innocent.
Why is this happening? Many of us were recently stunned and saddened by the Barahona case in Miami, where ten-year-old Nubia Barahona was murdered, apparently at the hands of her adoptive parents. “While Nubia was a public school student, her adoptive parents had been investigated multiple times by the DCF for serious allegations of abuse and neglect. These investigations occurred while they were foster parents, during the adoption of the children, and afterward. In fact, they pulled the children out of the public school in the middle of yet another DCF investigation” (from HSLDA.org). About seven months after Nubia and her brother were pulled out of school, Nubia died.
These types of cases are absolutely tragic and cry out for justice. But in bringing justice to one situation, we must be very careful not to cause a huge injustice in another. The recommendation of the Miami-Dade grand jury, although certainly well-intentioned, would place all parents who choose to home school in an abusive category – at least very suspect of abuse and needing to establish their innocence.
If the government can label one subset of parents in society guilty until proven innocent, it can do it to any group of parents. What if a child is abused during summer vacation? Does that give permission to the government to send to DCF the names of all parents who choose to have their children home during the summer months? Or what if a preschooler suffers abuse or neglect. Does that allow the government to check up on all parents who want to keep their children at home during the preschool years? What if new parents tragically abuse their newborn baby? Should the government then be empowered to make house visits to all parents of newborn babies? And on and on…
Our nation’s justice system is based on the concept of innocent until proven guilty. And our nation’s judicial and traditional regard of parental rights is that they are fundamental rights, only to be tampered with by the government when it has a compelling reason to do so, and then only in the least obtrusive means. For example, in Parham v. J.R. (1979), the Supreme Court upheld parental rights, saying, “The statist notion that governmental power should supersede parental authority in all cases because some parents abuse and neglect children is repugnant to American tradition.” Unfortunately, the Miami-Dade grand jury’s recommendation is not in harmony with the Court’s opinion.
As these injustices continue to threaten fit American parents and children, the Parental Rights Amendment comes to light as the only powerful and permanent solution to the government’s increasing disregard for parental rights.
Read the Miami-Dade grand jury report.
Florida State Coordinator