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2/4/2003 11:41:34 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Florida--Calls Needed: SB 128 Will Endanger Parents' Rights

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 4, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Over the years, Home School Legal Defense Association has represented
many families in conflict with grandparents who did not like
homeschooling. These grandparents would try to stop the
homeschooling through various means including turning the family over
to the child welfare services. Thankfully, most grandparents we come
in contact with at HSLDA support homeschooling and in some situations
participate in the teaching.

However, Senate Bill 128 would allow grandparents and great-
grandparents to sue parents for visitation rights. If this bill
becomes law, they could sue "natural parents who are still married to
each other" if "either or both parents have used their parental
authority to prohibit a relationship between the minor and the
grandparents or great-grandparents."

Of course, if a grandparent brings such a suit under this act, the
court may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the child and
order family mediation and a psychological evaluation of the child.
Parental rights would likely be ignored.

S.B. 128 has been referred to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary
and Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and Judiciary. The
Judiciary and Appropriations Committees will be meeting the first
week of February. The Florida Senate's regular session will convene
the first week of March. Therefore, we urge you to call your Senator
immediately to stop this bill.

ACTION REQUESTED

1) Call the sponsor of S.B. 128 and deliever the following message in
your own words:

"Please withdraw your bill S.B. 128. This bill violates the
constitutional rights of parents."

Sponsor: Walter G. "Skip" Campbell, Jr. (D) (850) 487-5094

2) Call as many of the senators listed below and give them the
following message in your own words:

"Please vote against S.B. 128. This bill unconstitutionally violates
parental rights. You need to trust parents and oppose this bill."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler but simply as
a concerned parent.

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Article V Implementation and
Judiciary:
Chair: Rod Smith (D) (850) 487-5020
JD Alexander (R) (850) 487-5044
Dave Aronberg (D) (850) 487-5356
J. Alex Villalobos (R) (850) 487-5130
Stephen R. Wise (R) (850) 487-5027

Judiciary Committee:
Chair: J. Alex Villalobos (R) (850) 487-5130
Vice Chair: Dave Aronberg (D) (850) 487-5356
Walter G. "Skip" Campbell, Jr. (D) (850) 487-5094
Lisa Carlton (R) (850) 487-5081
Charlie Clary (R) (850) 487-5009
Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R) (850) 487-5109
Durell Peaden, Jr. (R) (850) 487-5000
Rod Smith (D) (850) 487-5020
Daniel Webster (R) (850) 487-5047

You can also find your own senator's phone number either by calling
your county clerk's office or by using HSLDA's legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox.

HSLDA will continue to monitor this legislation and will inform you
of updates at:
http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/State/fl/2003/FLSB128/default.asp

Thank you for taking the time to protect parental rights.

Sincerely,

Christopher Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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