House Bill 1384: Parents' Bill of Rights

Oklahoma
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Last Updated: March 12, 2014
House Bill 1384: Parents' Bill of Rights
Sponsors:
Representative Kern
Summary:

Good News! House Bill 1384 has passed the House and now goes to the Senate. Please contact your state senator and urge him or her to support House Bill 1384.

The foundation of House Bill 1384 is this: the "liberty of parents to direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of their children is a fundamental right."

If passed, House Bill 1384 would prohibit the state from infringing upon parents' rights unless the state could demonstrate that there is a compelling governmental interest as applied to the child. In order to override the parents’ right the governmental interest must be of the highest order. In addition, the restriction of the parental right must be narrowly tailored and the state interest could not be met by some less restrictive means.

The whole purpose in this standard is to ensure that Oklahoma law recognizes that parental rights are fundamental. The language used in House Bill 1384 follows a number of U.S. Supreme Court cases and is closely modeled after a statute in Arizona.

Besides further acknowledging the fact that parents have the right to direct their child's education, House Bill 1384 also protects the following:

  • The right to direct the upbringing of your minor child.
  • The right to direct the moral or religious training of your minor child.
  • The right to make healthcare decisions for your minor child.
  • The right to access and review all medical records of your minor child (unless prohibited by law).
  • The right to consent in writing before a biometric scan of your minor child is made.
  • The right to consent in writing before any record of your child's blood or DNA is created.
  • The right to consent in writing before the state makes a video/voice recording of your child (certain limited exceptions).
  • The right to be notified promptly when any state employee/entity suspects that a criminal offense has been committed against your child by someone other than you.
  • There is also language in House Bill 1384 that states that parents have inalienable rights that are more comprehensive than those listed in the bill, and that it does not prescribe all rights of parents.

Finally, House Bill 1384 does not authorize or allow a parent to engage in any abusive or neglectful conduct. Under the bill, no parent would have an excuse to abuse or neglect a child in violation of already existing Oklahoma law. The bill would also not provide any protection for any parental action or decision that would end life.

HSLDA's Position:

HSLDA strongly supports House Bill 1384. Parents have a fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of their children and we believe it is important to recognize this fact in state law. House Bill 1384 will do this.

Action Requested:

Please contact your state senator and urge him or her to support House Bill 1384. You can give the following message in your own words. Feel free to both call and email your state senator.

"Please support House Bill 1384. This bill will ensure that parents’ fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of their children is clearly established in Oklahoma. As parents, our greatest concern if for the well-being of our children. I ask you to vote in favor House Bill 1384."

You do not need to tell your state senator that you teach your children at home. However, you should tell your state senator that you are a constituent and concerned parent.

To find your state senator's contact information please go here.

Status:

02/04/2013     (House)     First Reading
02/05/2013     (House)     Second Reading referred to Human Services
02/20/2013     (House)     CR; Do Pass, amended by committee substitute Human Services Committee
02/20/2013     (House)     Coauthored by Representative(s) Hulbert
02/20/2013     (House)     Authored by Senator Griffin (principal Senate author)
03/07/2013     (House)     Available for consideration on House floor.

2014 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
02/19/2014     (House)     Amended (to change effective date to 2014)
02/19/2014     (House)     Third Reading, Measure passed: Ayes: 89 Nays: 3
02/19/2014     (House)     Referred for engrossment
02/19/2014     (House)     Coauthored by Representative(s) Fisher, Cockroft, Walker, Murphey, Blackwell, Bennett
02/19/2014     (House)     Coauthored by Senator(s) Shortey
02/20/2014     (House)     Engrossed, signed, to Senate
02/20/2014     (Senate)     First Reading
02/20/2014     (Senate)     coauthored by Turner
03/12/2014     (Senate)     Second Reading; referred to Rules Committee, then to Appropriations Committee

Background:

The right to homeschool is based on parents’ fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children, and HSLDA has been in the center of the fight to preserve these rights for more than 25 years.

While many courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have affirmed parental rights in a variety of circumstances, some recent decisions have given reason for concern that recognition of parental responsibility and authority is eroding. Consequently, there is a movement underway to amend the U.S. Constitution to protect this fundamental right. We believe it is also important that individual states take a stronger stand to support parental rights. We believe it is also important that individual states take a stronger stand to support parental rights.

Visit ParentalRights.org for more detailed information.

 Other Resources

Bill Text

Bill History