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2/27/2013 10:07:07 AM
Scott Woodruff--HSLDA
Missouri--Please Call to Protect Your Right to be a Parent

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Missouri--Please Call to Protect Your Right to be a Parent

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

A bill that will protect parenting as we know it, HB 513, will face a
crucial committee vote any day now in the Missouri House of
Representatives. We need your help!

The right of a parent to raise his child according to his best
judgment was unquestioned in America until 2000. In that year the
U.S. Supreme Court for the first time refused to treat the rights of
parents as on par with our other most precious rights. The court
refused to state that parents' rights are fundamental.

Since that time, 24 courts around the country have moved toward
downgrading parental rights--largely because state legislatures have
failed to do their job of protecting the rights of parent citizens
with clear legislation.

The time for silence is over. The Missouri Legislature needs to say
loud and clear that parental rights are worth protecting and not leave
it up to the whim of judges.

ACTION REQUESTED

Please use this legislative toolbox
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17375to find out who your Missouri
state representative is (be sure to enter your ZIP code!) If your
representative is on the list of committee members below, please call
him or her within the next two or three days. Your message can be as
simple as: "Please vote YES on HB 513. The time for silence is over.
The rights of parents need to be protected by statute, not left to the
whim of judges." Or you can form your own message using information in
the "background" section below.

This bill will protect the rights of all parents, so it is not
necessary to identify yourself as a homeschooler.

The committee members with an asterisk beside their name agreed to be
listed as cosponsors of the bill. They still need to hear from you,
but also please thank them for being a co-sponsor when you call them.


CONTACT INFORMATION- CHILDREN, FAMILIES AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
COMMITTEE

Grisamore, Jeff, Chair 573-751-1456

* Brattin, Rick 573-751-3783

Gannon, Elaine 573-751-7735

* Haahr, Elijah 573-751-2210

* Koenig, Andrew 573-751-5568

Meredith, Sue 573-751-4183

Montecillo, Genise 573-751-9472

Neely, Jim 573-751-0246

Newman, Stacey 573-751-0100

Remole, Tim 573-751-6566

Schupp, Jill 573-751-9762

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

There are three types of rights: ordinary, fundamental, and absolute.
If a right is "absolute," the government can do absolutely nothing to
restrict it--like the right to choose a faith. The rights of parents
have never been considered absolute. The battle today is over whether
your rights as a parent are "ordinary" or "fundamental."

If a right is "ordinary" (e.g., the right to run a business, or drive
a car, or get government assistance, or practice a trade or
profession), any government agency can put restrictions on it as long
as the restriction is arguably "rational." Since it's laughably easy
to prove a government restriction is "rational," courts almost always
uphold restrictions that government agencies place on the ordinary
rights of people. The government wins. The person with the right
loses.

But if a right is fundamental (like the right to move within a state,
or to a different state, procreation, or choice of public or other
schooling) a government agency can restrict it only if it has a super
good reason. Sometimes this is referred to as a "compelling" reason,
or a reason "of the highest order." To protect parenting as we and
generations of Americans have known it, it's crucial that parental
rights continue to be treated as "fundamental."

That's what HB 513 does. It doesn't give you any new rights. It just
provides much better protection for the ones you already have.

There is a loose-knit group of folks who want the government to put
more and more restrictions on parents. Some of these folks will argue
that HB 513 will let parents abuse their kids. This is false. The
bill gives you no new rights. You don't have a right to abuse your
kids now; you won't after it becomes law.

Or they may argue that it will destroy the "best interest" rule. The
starting point on this issue is that parents are presumed to act in
the best interests of their children (per the U.S. Supreme Court).
But when judges have authority to make rulings about children, they
must do what is in the best interests of the child. HB 513 won't
change that. In fact, the "best interest" concept was created when it
was universally acknowledged that parents' rights were fundamental.
There is no inconsistency.

Furthermore, the idea of parental rights being fundamental is not
experimental. We have over a century of experience of knowing what it
means for your rights to be fundamental. And during that century,
laws prohibiting abuse and neglect functioned as intended even with
parental rights being fundamental. There is simply no rational
reason to think that would change with HB 513.

HB 513 does not change the definition of "parent." It does not define
it at all. The legislature can define "parent" as may be necessary
when the case arises.

HB 513 will not upset current custody or adoption orders. Even when
parental rights are fundamental, courts still have power to enter
custody orders when custody of a child is in dispute. And courts
still have power to terminate the rights of parents (like for
adoption), if it is done according to law. HB 513 will not change
that.

HB 513 will not let parents dictate curriculum to public schools.
Even when parental rights are fundamental, schools still have nearly
unfettered discretion in deciding what to teach. In Fields v. Palmdale
School District, a federal court of appeals held that parents'
fundamental rights "... do not entitle individual parents to enjoin
school boards from providing information the boards determine to be
appropriate" to students.

Some will argue that we should just let "common law" keep on
developing as it has. The flaw in that argument is that it ignores
the fact that the reason governments exist in the first place is to
protect our rights (read the Declaration of Independence). It's only
when the legislature abdicates its duty to protect our rights that the
job by default falls back into the lap of the courts. Yes, if the
legislature is silent, the courts will fill the void with their own
opinions. But that is the least democratic way to address the issue
of rights.

Thank you for standing with us for freedom!

Sincerely Yours,
Scott A. Woodruff, Esq.
Senior Counsel, HSLDA

P.S. We greatly value you and your support--it is a privilege to serve
you! If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you
consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support
for our work enables us to defend individual families and protect
homeschooling freedom for all. Join now:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17376

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-> "I saved my entire membership fee with one discount"

"We've been a Liberty Mutual customer for over 12 years. We
called and asked about our HSLDA member discount and they lowered
our premium by approx $95 per year...coincidentally the same
amount as our HSLDA annual membership fee. Thought you'd want to
know!!'"

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1107

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