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2/17/2005 4:34:39 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Calls Needed Now to Stop a Bill that Endangers Parental Rights

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2005


Texas--Calls Needed Now to Stop a Bill that Endangers Parental Rights


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

Introduced by Senator Nelson, Senate Bill 6 makes changes to the child
welfare code of Texas. Upon reviewing this very lengthy bill, we have
discovered that it harms parental rights.

First, SB 6 makes it a criminal offense for any person to interfere in
a departmental investigation. If that person takes, retains, or
conceals the child, and the action is interpreted as interfering with
the investigation, they can be found guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.
We are concerned that if a parent simply stands on their Fourth
Amendment rights and refuses a social worker entry to their home to
investigate, that action could be prosecuted criminally. This would
violate the constitutional rights of families.

Secondly, this bill would open the door for unannounced visits and
monitoring by social workers of families with adopted children. Under
the law, children who are adopted become that family's child. The same
Fourth Amendment and parental rights apply to those families with
adopted children. This bill would allow for monitoring and visitation
of families with adopted children by social workers.

This bill is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Human
Services Committee on Tuesday, February 22, and HSLDA Legislative
Council Tom Sanders will be giving testimony to expose these and other
problems with SB 6. We believe that if Texas members call the
committee now, we will be in a better position to offer substitute
amendments which will protect the rights of parents.

Please call the committee members listed below in order to protect
parental rights in Texas.


ACTION REQUESTED

Please call as many members of the committee as possible, as well as
Senator Nelson, the sponsor of SB 6.

Give them this message:
"Please vote against Senate Bill 6, in its present form, because it
fails to protect the parental and Fourth Amendment rights of
families."

Senator Jane Nelson
Chairperson, Senate Health and Human Services Committee
(512) 463-0112

Members of the Committee:

Vice-Chair: Senator Kyle Janek
(512) 463-0117

Senator Ken Armbrister
(512) 463-0118

Senator John Carona
(512) 463-0116

Senator Bob Deuell
(512) 463-0102

Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr.
(512) 463-0106

Senator Jon Lindsay
(512) 463-0107

Senator Royce West
(512) 463-0123

Senator Judith Zaffirini
(512) 463-0121



BACKGROUND

Although the intent of SB 6 is well meaning, this bill is being pushed
quickly through the Legislature. We hope the calls of Texans to the
committee will slow down the process so that a reasonable discussion
and debate can take place.

Thank you for taking a moment to make these calls.

Sincerely,


Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel



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