By Michael F. Haverluck
Book given to 5-year-old by public school teacher under guise of ‘diversity’
What parent hasn’t wondered at some point, “Are those really my kids?”
Now comes a combination of state, federal and international organizations to tell fathers and mothers that, no, they aren’t. At least not entirely.
That’s according to a new project from the Homeschool Legal Defense Association, a half-hour docudrama, “Overruled: Government Invasion of Your Parental Rights,” produced by its affiliate organization, ParentalRights.org, in an effort to gain support for a Parental Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
ParentalRights.Org President Michael Farris, who also is co-founder and general counsel of HSLDA, contends in the docudrama that America needs a wake-up call to action against governmental control of their children before it’s too late.
“The vast majority of parents and adults in general,” Farris said, “think that the normal, traditional rules of parents’ rights are still in place … that parents can make decisions for their children in the areas of education, their upbringing, medical care, the whole gamut of parental decision making.”
But author, family advocate and expert for the Heritage Foundation Rebecca Hagelin asserts in the video that even though most “believe that moms and dads should be able to parent as they see fit … what they don’t understand is there’s no legal right that allows them to do so.”
In fact, parental rights were so well established at the time the U.S. was launched, the Founders did not specifically recognize them in the Constitution.
For dos and don’ts, one has to shuffle through bundles of U.S. Supreme Court decisions to find the constantly evolving standard on such rights, which the video states is the core of the current problem.
“If we’re going to protect parents’ rights once and for all, we’ve got to put it into the text of the Constitution itself,” Farris says. “The Parental Rights Amendment is an effort to put the traditional legal standards of ‘parents can make decisions for their kids’ in the actual text of the Constitution. There are three sections that do three simple things: the first section says ‘Parents have the fundamental right to make decisions for their kids.’ The second section says, ‘If the government is going to try and invade your rights, they’ve got to have clear evidence to do so.’ And the third section says, ‘International law, stay out.’ Whenever the government says, ‘We’re going to make the decision for you,’ with the Parents Rights Amendment, we’re saying ‘No, we’ll make the decision as a family.'”
Many believe the current interpretation of parental rights is put in the wrong hands.
“For the first time in American history, the majority of the Supreme Court no longer treats a parent’s right to control and direct the upbringing of their child as a fundamental liberty,” said William Wagner, former U.S. magistrate judge. “We now have a new situation where government itself becomes the standard and whoever’s in power gets to say what your liberty is.”
And this warrants concern for former Michigan congressman Peter Hoesktra:
Former Congressman Pete Hoekstra on the dangers of government controlling decisions for children
“There are people each and every day who are scheming to take away parental rights to start to destroy the family structure,” he said. “What we’ve seen over the last 40 to 50 years is continual legislative and judicial overreach going into areas that we never thought they would reach into.”
This is seen as the government’s intrusion inside the family’s boundaries.
“The government has a role, but it’s not the role of a partner â€’ it’s the role of a backstop,” Farris said. “If you abuse your kids, if you neglect your kids, and they have evidence of that, the government moves in, and they should move in under those circumstances. But when they treat all of us as if we’re child abusers, that’s absolutely outrageous and we can’t stand for it.”
This overstepping of the states’ role can be traced to oppressive European regimes of the not-so-distant past.
“Karl Marx said that in order to establish a perfect socialist state, you have to destroy the family,” said family psychologist and author John Rosemond. “You have to substitute the government and its authority for parental authority in the rearing of children.”
One of the vehicles to usher in socialist policies over children is an international treaty known as the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, or the UNCRC. Adopted by the UN in 1989, this essentially says that “anytime there is a conflict or dispute between a child and a parent, a government bureaucrat gets to decide what is in the best interest of the child instead of the parent deciding what is in the best interest of the child,” said Wagner.
ParentalRights.org showcases three dramatizations of real-life situations concerning the government’s excessive intervention in children’s lives.
One of the docudrama’s real-life stories re-enacts a UNCRC-implemented experiment in Washington State, where a state law was passed to enforce core provisions of the treaty â€’ that a child’s wishes must be adhered to as a standard.
It portrays Farris in 1984 defending parents’ rights to take their 13-year-old son to church. After being counseled by officials at school who explained the children’s rights provisions under the new law, the teen told a school counselor that he didn’t like his parents taking him to church three times a week and was tired of them telling him what to do.
“There was nothing unusual about the church,” Farris shared about his case. “The counselor was outraged that parents made a child go to church that often … It was a Friday and they thought that it was such an egregious situation that they did an emergency removal of this boy. They are not supposed to do an emergency removal of a child unless there was a clear and present danger or some real harm … We’ll it’s Friday, and Sunday is coming … he’s going to have to go to church twice. The social worker just took the child directly from the school and put him in foster care for the weekend. They just made the decision on their own. They didn’t go to court, they didn’t get the police, they didn’t get the parents’ permission. They just did it. Then they notified the parents afterward that they removed the boy.”
The judge ruled that he thought once-a-week church attendance was sufficient for a 13-year-old boy, and if the parents disagreed with the ruling, child protective services would retain custody of their son.
“The two core principles of this Washington State law are almost word for word the core principles of the CRC,” Farris explained. “Washington State subsequently changed them because of so many bad cases like this one. We don’t have to guess how this treaty would work … we know how this treaty would work, and it’s terrible.”
But the UNCRC doesn’t stop there.
“One of the things the Convention of the Rights of the Child states is that children have the right to access any media or any information that they want. It also means that a predator has the ability to access children through the Internet and the parents have no right to protect their children,” former President of Concerned Women of America Wendy Wright stated in the video. “So this treaty that purports to give rights to children really makes children more vulnerable to being exploited and abused.”
Here’s a look at the results in some of the nations that adopted the UNCRC:
- Holland – children start sex education at four years of age
- Sweden – homeschooling is illegal and those who do it face criminal charges and risk having their children removed from their homes
- Belgium – doctors can terminate the lives of babies under a year old if they feel the child is somehow disabled or deficient â€’ in 16 percent of the cases, they didn’t even ask for the parents’ consent.
The U.S. is the only nation that hasn’t ratified the treaty, but the consequences of signing it would be much more severe than for other nations.
“The rest of the world doesn’t treat treaties the way we do,” Farris explained. “They’re just making political promises. Our Supremacy Clause says that a treaty becomes a part of the supreme law of the land and overrides state laws and overrides state constitutions. Almost all of American law of parenting kids is state law, so this treaty becomes supreme over virtually all American law of parents and children.”
Bill Clinton approved the treaty during his administration, so all it takes is two-thirds of the U.S. Senate to approve it in order for it to become a part of the supreme law of the land.
Another real-life scenario in the video depicts parents taking their 13-year-old son to the doctor for chest pains after he passed out, only to be told by the physician that he needed to get permission from the child before going over drug results with them.
“I never thought that my rights as a parent could be taken away from me,” said the father, Sid Daugherty. “I cannot get medical records to my son without his permission because the law says so. How could somebody tell me that the law says that a parent cannot get medical records over my own child? It’s not right. It’s outrageous. It’s offensive to think that that would go on.”
The Parkers, of Massachusetts, were just as outraged when their five-year-old son came home from school in 2005 with a school-issued book bag filled with materials to get him on board with the homosexual agenda.
“I’m realizing that this material had somehow been deemed appropriate to even be placed in my five-year-old’s hands,” Tonia Parker said after discovering the book “My Two Dads” in her son’s school bag. “It was a book meant to introduce and normalize homosexuality.”
“This is about introducing to my child sexuality issues at a very early age â€’ even before he’s introduced by his parents,” the father, David Parker, commented. “I just could not believe that they were doing this in kindergarten.”
Once they shared their concern with the school principal, they were directed to the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educational Network (GLSEN) workshop entitled “How and Why to Talk to Your Children about Diversity.”
After attending the meeting promoting homosexuality, the parents requested notification in advance before their child was subjected to instruction on homosexuality so they would have the opportunity to opt him out. This was met with a deceptive reply from the principal, who said it looked like something could be worked out with the superintendent.
The father could not believe the lengths through which he had to go to protect his son.
“Who are we talking about here? We’re talking about my child,” he said. “I’m not talking about the rest of the school. We didn’t say ‘Never do this.’ We said, ‘When you do do it â€’ as they stated they would â€’ notify us first,’ and we want the option to opt out if we don’t think he’s ready for that. What I didn’t realize was they weren’t actually taking that extra time to accommodate; they were formulating another plan. They were keeping me there by leaving me with this promise and calling the police.”
Eventually, the principal had the father arrested for not cooperating with the sex education indoctrination program.
“When I was led out and put in the police car, I thought to myself, ‘How far are they willing to go to deny us our parental rights?'” the father shared. “Any form of authority which undermines the interaction and the guidance of a parent for their child has to be stopped. Parents need some form of protection because this type of thing is happening more and more and more.”
“We have to ask ourselves the question, ‘What are our parental rights worth to us?'” ParentalRights.org Board Chairman Scott Sharpen asks viewers. “How much are we willing to sacrifice, how much are we willing to invest to make sure that today and for the future those rights that we hold so dear, so that we can direct the upbringing and education and raising our kids how we see fit?”
He said to protect parents’ rights, one can:
- Sign the petition on ParentalRights.org in support of the Parental Rights Amendment
- Tell others about the amendment
- Write your local papers
- Contact your congressman
- Support the work of ParentalRights.org.
According to a 2010 Zogby Poll of more than 2,000 Americans, a vast majority is already on board, as 93 percent support parental rights and agree with its definition â€’ that parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children as they see fit.
But the amendment is considered to be much more than just a means of protecting parents’ rights.
“The Parents Rights Amendment is really the last bulwark against the implementation of socialism in America.” Rosemond said.