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Parental Rights - CRC and PRA

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Eric Potter
12:54 PM ET (US)
   I am still hoping to hear a response from "liberty 4 all" in regards to my recent questions. I appreciate Ms. Hohensee's response, but would like to challenge Liberty 4 all to answer.
Thank you,
Eric Potter
Doris Hohensee
06:54 PM ET (US)
No. Parents have directed the education of their children without government oversight until very recently. A large number
of states continue to allow parents the right to direct the
education of their children without interference or oversight.

Home education laws that restrict parental rights are quite new.
Most of these laws were enacted in the 1980's as parents
feared continued state harassment without an explicit law
allowing them to teach their children at home. Most of these
laws were written with the help of HSLDA and are quite

On Jul 1, 2009, at 4:26 PM, QT - Eric Potter wrote:
> 3) Do you not realize that we have been operating under the
> premises of an implicit "fundamental right" for the life of our
> country which has been protected by the US Supreme Court? The
> currently proposed amendment freezes things as they are and
> offers a possiblity to regain our rights already lost.
Eric Potter
04:26 PM ET (US)
   I want to eventually respond to all of the articles referenced, but I only have time to respond to the "Revive the Republic" article quickly.
   What this article is advocating is an "absolute" right of parents. I have a few questions: 1) Do we want an absolute right? The article even notes that unless abuse occurs, we are free to raise our children as we want. Therefore, he advocates a non-absolute, absolute right. 2) So you advocate fighting 50 state battles, which could be collectively overturned by a constitutional amendment or thwarted by the federal checkbook i.e. federal legistlation requiring outlawing of home schooling or forfeit federal education money. What is your plan for winning these state battles?
3) Do you not realize that we have been operating under the premises of an implicit "fundamental right" for the life of our country which has been protected by the US Supreme Court? The currently proposed amendment freezes things as they are and offers a possiblity to regain our rights already lost. 4) Exactly how do we convince enough of the populace that an absolute right is necessary when many don't even buy into the fundamental right because they think it is too strong?
   I need to examine further the proposed legistlation linked in this document, but am not convinced by the argument so far. I will continue to investigate this issue and continue to post here with my further thoughts.
Thank you,
liberty 4 all
11:39 PM ET (US)
Home Education Magazine has a regular column, titled “Taking Charge”, which is written by Larry and Susan Kaseman. It is always worthwhile reading!

Here are 3 of their articles that pertain to this matter:
May - June, 2008
Taking Charge - Larry and Susan Kaseman
Can a Constitutional Amendment Protect Parental Rights?
November-December 1999 - Columns
Taking Charge
Convincing Others We Don't Want Homeschooling Legislation - Larry and Susan Kaseman
July-August 1998 - Columns
Taking Charge - Larry and Susan Kaseman
Responding to Current Legislative Challenges Promoted by National Organizations
liberty 4 all
11:35 PM ET (US)
Readers/Posters on this thread will want to check out the following:
A Constitutional Amendment to Support Parental Rights?
by Kerry L. Morgan
08:53 PM ET (US)
Check out information at This site contains info on HSLDA.
Doris Hohensee
03:10 PM ET (US)

Education has not been ceded to the state government. Witness the existence of non-public, private education. You do not understand inalienable rights if you can claim that they are not firm enough ground upon which to stand. I find that disturbing for a student of law.

In 1991 I drafted the first Parental Rights legislation, which HSLDA opposed. Then HSLDA turned around and tried to enact federal
legislation with their own defective version of the PRA. My amendment was to the NH Constitution; it read "No man shall be compelled to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed." I was modeled on the Kentucky amendment which affords parents the right to home school without state oversight. A parent need only affirm his opposition to public school; HSLDA insists that parents would have to prove conscientious objection since they failed to read the background of the KY amendment. Imo HSLDA opposed my PRA because they oppose inalienable rights of conscience. They prefer to support restricted religious rights for those individuals belonging to state approved churches.

Hs'ers in many states have had problems with HSLDA.


On May 22, 2009, at 10:23 PM, QT - Eric Potter wrote:

< replied-to message removed by QT >
Eric PotterPerson was signed in when posted
10:23 PM ET (US)
Hello Doris,
  I apologize for being slow in responding. That does not mean I have not been pondering our discussion and researching the issue. I have even been in the trenches at our state legislature testifying to get parental rights for children's medical records restored.
-- After reading your side, I still have a number of disagreements with your approach. I agree that the government should stay out of education, but the people have ceded that perogative at least to state governments. Given the federal governments ability to influence states with their checkbooks, the feds also have a finger in the resulting legislation. I can not see how you plan to keep either completely out of home education. State laws will be made, and at least HSLDA seems to recognize this fact so that they work within the system to make the best of a far from perfect situation. Your approach seems to want to hide from this fact and hope for the seemingly impossible ideal situation. You say that I am doing something and hoping it works, but I would challenge that you are doing likewise.
--- I also believe that you are being too focused on the home schooling issue and ignoring the wider scope of parental rights which would be protected by the amendment. You seem willing to sacrifice the wider rights so that you can protect homeschooling. If I am mistaken, please explain to me why my perspective is incorrect. If you think the amendment is bad for all parental rights, please explain that also.
---- Your right to home educate may be inalienable, but in a culture more and more dominated by those who ascribe no value to "inalienable" rights granted by a sovereign being, only those rights explicitly stated in words may carry legal weight. Those inalienable rights will not protect you from a legal system which does not recognize rights granted by a higher power.
--- For clarity's sake, I agree that fighting federal law is daunting, but my recent experience at the state level proves to me that there are just as many at the state level who are opposed to our shared desire to protect parental rights. They are firmly set in their belief that the state is better equipped to decide the "best interest of the child". This was even stated publicly in a recent state legislature committee meeting by an elected official of our state. They also use federal law to attempt defeat of efforts to return control to the parents. That is another reason why I don't believe the ground of state sovereignty and inalienable rights is firm enough to hold us up under the pressure of government forces against us. A constitutional amendment would provide firmer ground than "hoping we could win at the state level" in my opinion. Then we could fight from the high position down the hill to win back these rights state by state. To me the battle is uphill if we start at the state level without an amendment as sure footing.
-- I am concerned about your allegations towards HSLDA on multiple occasions betray a deeper issue. Can you provide evidence supporting your statement that homeschoolers in other states have complained of HSLDA influenced legislation? I may not agree with every single stance of HSLDA and may choose to not participate in tax breaks HSLDA has helped created, but overall I see their reasoning to be sound, their approach realistic, and their intentions to be genuinely for the best of parents.
--- Very interested in hearing your responses and continuing our dialogue,
Eric P
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