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2/22/2011 5:26:28 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Iowa: Families with Deaf Children Need Your Help Now

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Iowa: Families with Deaf Children Need Your Help Now

Dear Iowa Members and Friends:

A bill that would take away the right of parents to direct the
education of their deaf or hard-of-hearing child is set for a hearing
Thursday, February 24.

Parents have the right to direct the education of their children, but
SF 190 appears to give the power of choice of education to the child
himself. And we know from experience that when a law gives rights to
children without clearly making parents the custodian of those rights,
government agents are empowered to usurp the role of parents and claim
the power to decide what the child really wants or needs.

Although the bill ostensibly gives rights to children, in fact it
takes rights away from parents. For example, one part of the bill
gives deaf children the right to "recess, lunch...and ...social"
activities. This sounds like a back door way to prevent any parent
from ever homeschooling his deaf child.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please call the members of the subcommittee below. Your message can
be as simple as "Please vote NO on SF 190. It takes away the rights of
parents to direct the education of their deaf or hard-of-hearing
children."

CONTACT INFORMATION

Senator Daryl Beall
Legislative Email: daryl.beall@legis.state.ia.us
Home Phone: (515) 573-7889

Senator Nancy J. Boettger
Legislative Email: nancy.boettger@legis.state.ia.us
Home Phone: (712) 744-3290

Senator Steven J. Sodders (bill sponsor)
Legislative Email: steve.sodders@legis.state.ia.us
Home Phone: (641) 483-2383

BACKGROUND

The bill creates the "Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children's Educational
Bill of Rights." But giving rights to children, without specifically
putting the parents in control of those rights as custodians, means
that when it comes time for the child to exercise those rights, a
government agency will claim it has the power to speak for the child
rather than the parents.

This is exactly what happened in the Fritz Konrad case. While this
case took place in Germany, SF 190 sets up a scenario where precisely
the same thing could occur.

One part of the bill gives deaf children the right to be placed in the
"least restrictive educational environment." A judge who favored
public schools could decide that homeschools are never the least
restrictive environment.

Another part of the bill gives children the right to "teachers ... who
understand ... deafness, and are specifically trained to work with
hard-of-hearing and deaf pupils ...." A judge who favors public
schools might decide that only certified teachers could satisfy this
requirement.

If this bill merely refined how public schools treat deaf children, it
might not be problematic. But this bill applies to every deaf child
from the moment of birth, regardless of how his parents might choose
to educate him.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely Yours,

Scott A. Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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