Texas home schoolers have understood the issue of parental rights for many years. The right of a parent to direct the upbringing and education of their children is a fundamental right that should not be overridden by the state except in the most dire circumstances. In the 1980s many states, including Texas, argued that parents should not be allowed to teach their children at home.
Today Germany continues to argue that home schooling is illegal because the state, not the parent, should have the authority to indoctrinate the children. Switzerland and other countries are also moving to make home schooling more difficult or impossible. Home schooling is legal in all 50 states here in the US; however, we see more and more areas in which a parent’s right to make decisions for their own children is overruled by the state.
One area that parental rights is under attack is in the area of medical decisions for children. Most, but not all, states have laws requiring that parents be at least notified prior to their daughter receiving an abortion. There are many on the left who do not think parents should be notified, arguing that children should be able to make those decisions on their own. Today SMU is hosting Dr. Tim Dare of Australia in a presentation regarding the assault or defense of parental rights in regard to making medical decisions for their own children.
Then there is the whole issue of grandparent access laws, which allow grandparents to sue fit parents for access to their grandchildren – or even possession of those grandchildren. Grandparents sometimes have conflict with parents regarding decisions parents are making, and this leads to such lawsuits. This is an issue on which we must educate the public and work at all levels to sustain the rights of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children. We must avoid the overreaching hand of goverment in the family that we saw in Nazi Germany and The Soviet Union.