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3/7/2013 3:24:42 PM
Darren Jones--HSLDA
Parental Rights Legislation Introduced: No Action Currently Requested

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Parental Rights Legislation Introduced: No Action Currently Requested

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

The Texas Legislature has introduced a number of bills in recent weeks
that have the potential to influence the status of your parental
rights, both positively and negatively.

Background:

First, the good news. Texas enjoys some of the best parental rights
protections in the 50 states.

As early as 1997, the legislature defined the job of the Department of
Family and Protective Services to include providing family support and
family preservation services "that respect the fundamental right of
parents to control the education and upbringing of their children."
V.T.C.A., Human Resources Code sec. 40.002 (b)(2). The Texas
Legislature forced the DFPS to acknowledge parental rights as
fundamental.

A second statute protecting your parental rights comes from the Family
Code. It states, "A state agency may not adopt rules or policies or
take any other action that violates the fundamental right and duty of
a parent to direct the upbringing of the parent's child." V.T.C.A.,
Family Code sec. 151.003. Not only does Texas law recognize that
parental rights are fundamental, the Texas Attorney General has
interpreted the law accordingly. The state can only challenge parental
rights in narrow and extraordinary circumstances, namely the
constitutional standard of "compelling state interest." Tex. Atty.
Gen. Op., No. JC-0226.

Upcoming Bills:

But, there's even more that Texas can do to support parental rights.
House Concurrent Resolution 38 would urge the U.S. Congress to the
pass the Parental Rights Amendment and send it to the states for
ratification. You can read about the national PRA amendment here
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17481 . We strongly believe that
Texas' support for the national Parental Rights Amendment is crucial.
Stay tuned to HCR 38, because we may ask you to call your legislators
about this bill in the future.

In the area of CPS reform, parental rights are being strengthened.
House Bill 1152 would guarantee that parents accused of child abuse or
neglect receive an expedited hearing. Although many homeschooling
families will never encounter a CPS investigation, those that do face
false allegations will benefit from laws protecting their parental
rights. If Texas parents are threatened with losing custody of their
children, HB 1152 will guarantee that they have their day in court.
Additionally, House Bill 1323 adds additional due process protections
to Texas families when they face a CPS investigation for child abuse
or neglect.

But, like with all freedoms, we must also guard against challenges
that would erode parental rights in Texas.

Senate Bill 303 challenges parental rights in the area of health care
and treatment decisions. It would allow a doctor to forbid medical
personnel from conducting CPR, even overriding the wishes of the
patient or the patient's guardian.

House Bills 391, 393, and Senate Bill 1148 make it easier for a
grandparent to sue for possession or gain visitation rights to their
grandchildren, against the wishes of the parents.

Thankfully, none of these threats to parental freedoms are imminent,
and we are keeping a diligent eye on them. Please don't hesitate to
contact me at 540-338-5600 if you have questions about any of these
bills.

Standing with you for freedom,




Darren A. Jones
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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=17482

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-> Have you ever yelled into the wind, only to hear the sound of your
voice blown back at you?

It's hard to be heard in the midst of a storm. Trying to influence
federal legislation is much like yelling to be heard while
standing in a fierce wind. Yet when 80,000 voices join together,
they become a powerful force that cannot be drowned out.
Join HSLDA to be heard above the tempests that threaten homeschool
freedoms.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1939

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