The battle for restoring or defending parental rights goes on. In April, hundreds of home schoolers met on the steps of the Texas State Capitol to rally for the Texas Parental Rights Restoration Act (TPRRA), and Governor Rick Perry announced his support along with several state legislators. Later that week, well over a hundred showed their support in a public hearing, and on the 29th of last month the bill was voted out of the Human Services Committee on a 5-3 vote.
We have tried since that time to get the Calendars Committee to schedule the bill for a vote in the Texas House, and it now appears that will not happen, as the deadline for House bills to be voted on in the Texas House draws near. We have not, however, given up. We are now using a time-honored approach of finding germane bills that are scheduled for a floor vote onto which we might amend the TPRRA. We will pursue that approach and look for as many options as possible during the remainder of the session.
Today the Dallas City Council adopted a daytime curfew after weakening it significantly because of opposition. Two council members opposed the measure, one of whom is in a runoff for reelection. In city elections last Saturday home school dad Dave Gebhart forced a ten-year incumbent on the Bedford City Council into a runoff with only 52 votes separating the two, while a third candidate came in a distant third. Bedford’s daytime curfew was an issue. In Euless another home school dad challenging an incumbent city council candidate lost his bid by a mere 27 votes. These were good beginnings, and we must build upon them.
In regard to these battles for parental rights and freedom, two different people last week asked me, “At what point do we give up the fight?” My response was that we don’t give up the fight for freedom regardless of the loss we have incurred, small or great. Supporters of daytime curfews will say that the public agrees with them and we have lost and that we should simply accept defeat and leave the arena and go away. Those who oppose the TPRRA will say likewise should we be unsuccessful in this legislative session.
I was reminded that at one point the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that black people were not human and as such had no rights. Supporters of the abolitionist movement rejected that ruling and continued to educate the public and seek public policy changes to reflect freedom for all. William Wilberforce spent many years seeking the abolition of the slave trade in England before he was successful in his later years.
We must take the advice of Winston Churchill during World War II when he inspired his people with these words: “We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing-grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender!”
Indeed as we fight these battles, more people become informed of the dangers posed by the attacks against parental rights and join the battle, and our strength increases. In fact, we have seen this very thing occur in fights against daytime curfews and for the TPRRA. The point, however, is that we must not quit. Our opponents hope that we will become weary and discouraged and give up the fight, thereby leaving them as permanent victors. We must not do so.
I hope that home schoolers in the Bedford area will come to the aid of Dave Gebhart and his runoff election. The turnout in the June election will be a fraction of the 2,300 voters in the first round, and the opportunity for a victory is ripe. His victory would send a huge message on the issue of daytime curfews in Bedford and would be an encouragment to others in similar situations.
We plan to continue to push for the TPRRA, and we have certainly made more progress this session than we did last session. We are diligently working for victory on this bill, and we will use every means at our disposal to restore parental rights through this legislation; if we are not successful or completely successful, we will return in two years and the two years after that and the two years after that until we have restored parental rights in Texas.
“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Winston Churchill