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2/17/2006 1:36:26 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Iowa -- Calls Needed to Protect Parental Rights

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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February 17, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends,

A bill that would allow a judge to enforce his own opinion over the
parent's opinion on the question of children spending time with
grandparents will be heard in committee on Monday, February 20.

The bill is Senate File 2031 (S.F. 2031) and while it is called a
"Grandparents Rights" bill, it should really be called a "Parental
Rights Reduction Bill."

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


However, S.F. 2031 would give grandparents and great-grandparents the
right to receive visitation rights if the judge believes either that
the parent is unfit to make the decision, or that denying visitation
poses substantial harm to the child.

The bill is scheduled for a hearing Monday at 5 p.m. in the Senate
Human Resources Committee.

Your calls can make the difference.

ACTION REQUESTED:

If your senator is listed, please call them via the Senate Switchboard
at (515) 281-3371 or at a number listed below and give them this
message:

"Please vote against S.F. 2031. This bill violates parental rights
and is unconstitutional because it is vague. This bill gives judges
total discretion to second guess capable parents. We urge you to trust
parents and oppose this bill."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler but simply as a
concerned parent. Use our legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox to determine who your senator is.

Amanda Ragan (Co-Chair)
(H) (641) 424-0874
(W) (641) 424-2316

James A. Seymour (Co-Chair)
(H) (712) 647-2699

Jerry Behn
(H) (515) 432-7327

Nancy J. Boettger
(H) (712) 744-3290
(W) (712) 744-3290

Joe Bolkcom
(H) (319) 337-6280

William A. Dotzler, Jr.
(H) (319) 296-2947

E. Thurman Gaskill
(H) (515) 583-2449
(W) (515) 583-2449

Jack Hatch
(H) (515) 243-2033
(B) (515) 244-2941

Hubert Houser
(H) (712) 486-2597

David Johnson
(H) (712) 758-3280

Keith A. Kreiman
(H) (641) 664-2811
(W) (515) 210-0560

Herman C. Quirmbach
(H) (515) 292-8984

Maggie Tinsman
(H) (563) 332-5522
(W) (563) 359-3624

Frank B. Wood
(H) (563) 285-5311
(W) (563) 285-3218

BACKGROUND:

It is the right of fit parents in an intact family to decide with whom
their children spend time. Unless they have been declared unfit
parents, their decision should not be subject to second guessing by a
judge.

This bill gives judges the unprecedented power to declare that parents
are unfit to make a specific decision. If this bill passes, it would
embolden others to give judges power to declare parents unfit to make
other decisions.

The bill gives a dangerous amount of power to judges because it sets
no standards for what makes a parent unfit to make a decision about
grandparent visitation, or what would constitute "substantial harm"
from not spending time with grandparents.

Thank you for taking the time to protect parental rights.

Sincerely,


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1104

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