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3/28/2013 2:21:34 PM
Mike Donnelly--HSLDA
Parental Rights Bill Introduced in the Legislature

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Parental Rights Bill Introduced in the Legislature

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Great news! The week, House Bill ("HB") 3121 was introduced in the
House of Delegates to protect fundamental parental rights. HB 3121 is
sponsored by Delegate Daryl Cowles, Delegate Michael Folk, and
Delegate Tom Azinger and was introduced Monday, March 25. HSLDA
supports this bill. The bill has been assigned to the Committee on
Health and Human Resources.

HB 3121 is intended to provide direction to the courts and mirrors
current law in many states by defining the liberty of parents to
direct the upbringing, education, health care and mental health of
their children as a fundamental right.

While West Virginia court decisions so far have been supportive of a
parents' fundamental right to raise their children, it is far better
to rely on statutes for protection of this right than future court
decisions which can change over time.

Action Requested

Please contact your delegate and give him or her the following
messages in your own words:

"I am calling to ask you to support HB 3121 to protect parental
rights. This bill recognizes parental rights as a fundamental right
consistent with Supreme Court rulings, and safeguards both parents and
their children from unwarranted government intrusion. Parents have a
right to direct the upbringing of their children, and there should be
a high standard for government to challenge those rights. Parental
rights are a cornerstone of a healthy society and recognizing these
rights are vital to support strong families. Please support HB 3121.

You can find your delegate and his or her contact information here:
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17832
Background

In the event parents have to go to court to seek protection of their
rights against government intrusion, courts first must decide whether
the right is fundamental. If the judge decides the right is not
fundamental, then the judge will allow the government to infringe on
the right as long as it has a "rational" reason. But if the judge
decides the right is fundamental, the government may infringe on the
fundamental right only when there is a "compelling" reason to do so,
showing there is no other way for the government to meet the very high
standard.

As of today, there is nothing in West Virginia statutes or the state
Constitution enunciating that parental rights are in the category of
fundamental rights. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that parental
rights are fundamental. However, some lower courts and local
government officials have resisted compliance with U.S. Supreme Court
rulings on this issue. Although West Virginia courts have generally
been good in recognizing parental rights, it is risky to depend on
future court decisions to safeguard a fundamental parental right. This
is the problem HB 3121 will solve; it will simply give much better
protection to parental rights than currently exists in West Virginia
law.

Opponents of a parental rights law often incorrectly assume that it
would give parents a right to abuse their children. This is incorrect.
Parents don't have a right to abuse or neglect their children under
West Virginia statute, and that will not change if HB 3121 becomes
law. Rather, this law will simply provide an additional layer of
protection afforded through legislative enactment to safeguard parents
and children from intrusion by the government into the decision making
process within the family unit.

Thank you for all you do in defense of freedom for families in the
great state of West Virginia!

Montani semper liberi,


Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
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 threatened by
government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join
now: http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=17831

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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 Federal Relations Department 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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