Educational Freedom on the Ropes
You have heard the warning by now: under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC, or Convention), the right of parents to direct the education of their children will disappear.
You may also have heard the many assurances from internationalists and special interest groups that it’s not going to happen, that the CRC actually enshrines parental rights and will respect the important role that parents play.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding – and certain recipes cooked up of late taste very sour indeed.
First there is the Romeike family, who were forced to flee Germany and seek U.S. asylum in 2008 as the only means to keep their children out of the state-run schools. Perhaps you will recognize Germany’s education law – it was passed in the 1930’s under Adolf Hitler, who is famously quoted as saying, “He who controls the youth controls the future.”
Then there is the case of Dominic Johansson of Sweden, who was taken from his parents in June, 2009, because they had chosen to home school him until their upcoming move to his mother’s native India. Authorities actually came and removed him from the plane as the family was set to leave the country. Since that time, the country has outlawed home schooling, claiming that under the CRC children are guaranteed the right to a standard education. Meanwhile, Dominic’s parents are still fighting for his return.
Now comes the most recent strike, a Canadian Supreme Court decision that upheld the state-mandated Ethics and Religious Culture course being forced on students in Quebec schools since 2008. According to the ruling last week, parents cannot opt their children out even if they disapprove of the “morality” views being foisted on their child without first meeting a high burden of proof that the schooling will impede their own religious instruction at home. Again, it is argued that under the CRC every student has a right to “a specific” education. So no matter what faith a parent holds, the government gets to decide certain beliefs that every child is taught!
The UN’s Child Rights Committee put it this way: “[A]rticle 29(1) [of the CRC] underlines the individual and subjective right to a specific quality of education.” And while neither home schooling nor private schooling is explicitly outlawed by the Convention, neither are they exempted from government control. Says the Committee, “This [right] includes not only the content of the curriculum but also the educational processes, the pedagogical methods and the environment within which education takes place, whether it be the home, school, or elsewhere. Children do not lose their human rights by virtue of passing through the school gates.” (General Comment No. 1 (2001), emphasis added)
What It Means for America
Fortunately, we are not there yet. We are still the country to which people apply for asylum, not the nation from which they flee for freedom. But changes at the federal level are already leaning away from the liberty of the past. Only the preservation of fundamental parental rights at the state level is keeping us from looking a lot more like these nations than we do.
The proposed Parental Rights Amendment would establish in the federal Constitution the same legal protection for parental rights that is already recognized in the state law of nearly every state in the nation. In so doing, it will protect our freedom to direct the education of our children and halt the ever-expanding grasp of the federal edu-cratic elites who want to impose their worldview on every child in America.
Too many American parents still are not aware of this erosion in the federal courts, or of the threat to parental rights that is held in the United Nations’ CRC. Please take a moment to forward this email to everyone you know so that they, too, can sign the petition to support the Parental Rights Amendment.
Then, contact your Senators and urge them to support SR99, the resolution that opposes ratification of the CRC in America. We are still just 2 senators away from our goal of 40 cosponsors on that measure.
To check on the status of your Senators and find their D.C. phone numbers (if they aren’t already signed on), visit www.ParentalRights.org/Status.
Thank you for standing with us to preserve parental rights. By preserving our freedoms here, we continue to hold out hope for liberty to the rest of the world.
Director of Communications & Research