HB 188 is a bill filed by State Representative Roberto Alonzo from Dallas that has a very strong potential to undermine the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children. Let me give you a few examples:
“Child has a right to live in a safe, comfortable home in which they are treated with respect …”
While we certainly agree that children should be safe and treated with respect, who defines what is comfortable and what is disrespectful? We have seen examples of CPS making accusations that children are not safe because a poor family has too many children living in a home that is not large enough and therefore CPS believes the children are not safe. Adding the word comfortable almost guarantees that poor families will be targeted as a result of this.
“… right to be free from any form of discipline that humiliates or demeans the child”
This vague language opens the door for some agent of the state to intrude upon the family because in their opinion the discipline by the parents “humiliates or demeans the child.”
“… right to receive adequate and healthy food”
What is adequate and what is healthy? Who determines that?
“… receive access to a quality education”
There are many who would use this to deny a family the current right under the law to teach their child at home, because in the opinion of some expert the parent is not able to provide a “quality education.” Who then makes the decision about the education of the child – the state or the parents?
“… received appropriate medical, dental, vision and mental health services”
Once again what is appropriate and who determines that? A bureaucrat or the parents?
This bill is very similar to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which has not been adopted the U.S. Senate. This measure has been used across Europe to systematically take away the right of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their own children. HB 188 appears to be an attempt to develop the same policy on a statewide basis. It should be strongly opposed by anyone who believes that parents have a right to direct the education and upbringing of their children.