We publish this informative Op. Ed. by Bedford parent and Cornerstone Action Education Liason Ann Marie Banfield regarding an important vote in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. ~Publis
Parental rights are rights that do not come from the Government, but are individual rights guaranteed broadly in the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This is such a cherished right that the United States Supreme Court has upheld those right in a number of cases that have gone before the court.
We are a nation that has consistently maintained that parents possess a fundamental right to raise our children as we see fit. This belief has been upheld and affirmed by the judiciary and in decisions by the United States Supreme Court.
Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923)
Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925)
Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292 (1993)
Washington v. Glucksburg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997)
Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000)
As we see parental rights erode across the country and particularly in public schools, it is critical that our elected representatives understand their obligation to uphold and affirm these rights.
HB206 was a bi-partisan Bill that was submitted in 2015 in support of parental rights when schools administer invasive surveys to young children. We’ve seen problems across New Hampshire when parents have not received notification on when these surveys will be administered or what will be asked of their children.
A recent example of this breech of trust occurred in Bedford when this surveywas administered to middle school students.http://www.girardatlarge.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Attitudes-Behaviors-Survey-1.pdf
There are direct questions about parents on this survey and they should give their written consent on whether they want this information collected.
It would be nice if an “opt-out” law ensured parents would receive notification on these surveys but we know that sometimes these notices do not make it to the parents. It should also be noted that this entire survey was not provided to parents prior to it being given to the students in Bedford. Many of the more controversial questions were kept secret an hidden from parents.
HB206 would have corrected this continued abuse of trust by requiring an “opt in” to the surveys vs the “opt out” that has created the problems.
Rep. Terry Wolf first opposed HB206 based on “local control” but one has to ask, when did parental rights become a “control” issue? Our school board members and legislators at every level of government are supposed to uphold these individual rights, not “control” them. That’s tyranny.
A parent may lose these precious rights if they engage in unlawful behavior but that’s not what HB206 addressed. This was a good Bill that would now require a policy at the local level that affirmed parental consent.
HB206 did not tell schools what surveys to use, what questions to ask or infringe upon those local decisions. HB206 simply required a parent to “consent”. The “Wolf” amendment removed the “opt-in” provision and eroded parental rights.
How did YOUR State Representative vote on this important legislation and the amendment?
Did YOUR State Representatives vote to SUPPORT parental rights in New Hampshire? You can find that information here
All parents should take the time to read the questions included in this survey. Then ask yourself, why is it wrong to ask parents for permission before asking their children all of those questions?