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5/25/2007 1:10:45 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas: Calls Needed to Restore Parental Rights

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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May 25, 2007

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

We previously sent you an e-lert about HB 3971. This bill would
restore parental rights by modifying the current law regarding
grandparent's visitation rights in Texas. Under current Texas law,
grandparents may sue for court-ordered visitation, even if the parents
object to the visitation. This means that even if parents believe it
would be best for their children to not see their grandparents, the
grandparents could petition the court and force the parents to give
the grandparents visitation. This law has been held unconstitutional
by the Texas Supreme Court, and HB 3971 was introduced to bring the
law back in line with the constitution, as well restore the rights of
parents to direct the upbringing of their children. This bill will do
several things:

* Provide the court with discretion to determine a child's best
interest by amending the command language of "shall" to the permissive
language of "may";
* Require an allegation, with supporting facts, that denial of access
to the child endangers the child's physical health or significantly
impairs the child's emotional well-being;
* Mandate an initial hearing to dismiss frivolous suits; and
* Give long-term financial protection to families who are
unconstitutionally sued by a grandparent.

HB 3971 did not pass the House, but the author, Representative Bryan
Hughes, was able to attach it as an amendment to SB 228. SB 228
passed the House with this amendment (and over 20 others). The author
of SB 228, Senator Chris Harris, must now decide whether to make a
motion to accept the House Amendments, or to send the bill to a
conference committee. We want Sen. Harris to accept the amendments
without the bill going to conference committee, where this amendment
could be lost.

We need you to call your senator to express your support for SB 228
with the House Amendments. Please also have your senator encourage
Sen. Harris to accept the House Amendments on SB 228. It is especially
important to call Sen. Harris if you are from his district, which is
District 9 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

REQUESTED ACTION
Please call Sen. Harris (512-463-0109) and your state senator today
and give them this message:

"Please support SB 228 with the amendment as adopted by the House.
This bill restores to parents the right to direct the upbringing of
their children."

You can also use some of the above points in your message.

You can find information on your state senator by using our
Legislative Toolbox at
http://capwiz.com/hslda/state/main/?state=TX&view=myofficials

Thank you for standing for the rights of parents.

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel


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-> Who are the nation's best lobbyists?

We don't know that this has ever been determined; but we do know
that HSLDA's National Center for Home Education is the only
national organization lobbying on behalf of homeschoolers on
Capitol Hill.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1102

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Home School Legal Defense Association
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