From the HSLDA E-lert Service:


1/30/2013 9:47:52 AM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Virginia--Urgent--Please Call--Crucial Tests for Parental Rights Bills Coming

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

Virginia--Urgent--Please Call--Crucial Tests for Parental Rights Bills

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

Two bills that will protect parental rights in Virginia are about to
face crucial tests and need your calls in support right away!

We are facing stiff opposition from groups that hate the fact that
right now in Virginia, your right to direct the upbringing of your
child is a fundamental right. Long term, I am absolutely convinced
they want to downgrade your rights as a parent so the government can
have more control over your children. But these groups won't be able
to downgrade your parental rights if HB 1642 or SB 908 passes! So they
are working furiously to block them.

Their strategy is to convince lawmakers that HB 1642 and SB 908 change
the law. This is a complete falsehood. The bills do the exact
opposite! They merely guarantee that your rights will continue to be
honored as fundamental. They PREVENT judges in the future from
downgrading them!

But their smokescreen has confused many lawmakers. Your senator and
delegate need to hear loud and clear from you that you expect them to
do the right thing and protect your rights from a possible future
downgrade by the courts.

You see, the Virginia General Assembly has never told the courts how
parental rights should be protected. So courts think they have a
blank check. And one day they could write "DOWNGRADE" on that check
unless the General Assembly acts NOW!


Please make two phone calls just as soon as you can--first a call to
your senator, then a call to your delegate. It's not necessary to
identify yourself as a homeschooler since this issue affects all
parents. Your message to your senator can be:

"I expect you as my senator to protect my right to raise my children
from being downgraded by a future court. Please vote YES on SB 908."

Your message to your delegate can be:

"I expect you as my delegate to protect my right to raise my children
from being downgraded by a future court. Please vote YES on HB 1642."


To find the name and contact information for you senator and delegate,
use our Legislative Toolbox


SB 908 passed through committee in the Senate by a close margin on
Monday. Your calls are crucial in the Senate to maintain momentum! HB
1642 was presented in House Committee on Monday, but the vote was
deferred until Friday afternoon. The vote could be extremely close.
Every call counts!

When people ask courts to protect their rights against government
intrusion, courts first decide whether the right is fundamental, or
merely ordinary. If the judge decides it's merely ordinary, he will
allow the government to infringe on the right as long as it has a
"rational" reason.

But if he decides the right is fundamental, it gets much better
protection. The government is allowed to infringe on it only if there
is a truly compelling reason, and there is no other way for the
government to accomplish a very high priority.

The justices who sit on the Virginia Supreme Court today agree that
parental rights are fundamental. But those who sit on the court next
year might not. This is the problem HB 1642 and SB 908 solve.

Parents' rights are considered fundamental in Virginia right NOW! If
that meant parents could abuse their kids, it would have been
happening for 15 years--when parents' rights were clearly declared to
be fundamental. But in fact, all of our state laws prohibiting abuse
and neglect have continued to operate as intended even WITH parental
rights being fundamental! HB 1642 and SB 908 just make sure judges
can't take away the fundamental status.

HB 1642 and SB 908 do not give any new rights. They do not even say
what rights you have today as parents. That must be determined by
looking other places--state and federal statutes, the state and
federal constitutions, etc. HB 1642 and SB 908 simply give much better
protection to your rights that already exist.

The bills do not make any change to the definition of "parent."
Various statutes already on the books define parent, depending on the
particular context. These bills won't change that. The bills will
have no impact, for example, on adoption, foster care, custody or
surrogate parenting. The bills specifically say that they are
"declaratory of Virginia law"--that's to make it crystal clear that
they don't change current law.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!


Scott Woodruff
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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