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The right of a family/parent(s) to raise their children in the manner they deem best is a precious right. Children are not mere creatures of the State. We hold that the fundamental philosophy that the American constitutional form of representative government adheres to the principle that government is the servant and not the master of the people (Section 552.001 of the Texas government code). Further we believe, as stated in our laws, that "the people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know..." Also, in accordance with Texas laws and standards, we believe that "A parent of a child has the right to have physical possession, to direct the moral and religious training, and to establish the residence of the child..." (Section 151.003, Texas Family Code).
We believe that the family is accorded certain inalienable rights under our system of government, rights that are currently being violated by agencies of the government and non-profit community agencies in collusion with the government and which undermine the authority of the family. Therefore, we propose the following standards to be followed by all Texas courts, governmental agencies, and related parties to government action regarding family cases:
"Right of Family First"
State of Texas agencies shall regard the family as the rightful environment for every child and shall respect the individual family's method of care, control, protection, and reasonable discipline of the child as specified by Texas law. State of Texas agencies and their designates shall recognize the authority of the parents to implement child-rearing philosophies and techniques. Each child shall be considered an individual.
"Right of Sanctity of Home"
The State shall not remove a child from the family's protection and care (including school and any other site) except by emergency. Emergency shall be defined as a situation in which immediate danger to the physical health or safety of the child is present. When removal is under consideration:
- warrant shall be obtained according to law; no violation of search and seizure rights is allowed
- parent(s) shall be notified of a pending interview and/or removal of his or her child
- parents shall have the right to designate a representative to be present during all interviews of any family members
"Right to Know"
Parents shall have the right to know of their accusers whose complaints cause investigation of the family. No anonymous reports shall be allowed.
"Right of Open Investigation and Accountability"
All parties and witnesses in interactions with State authorities shall be interviewed on tape. At the inception of the taped interview, child shall be notified of right to have a parent or another adult of his or her choice present during interview. Parents shall be notified of their full rights to counsel and to designate a representative of their choosing in all actions and interviews with their children.
"Right to Full Disclosure"
All reports and tapes shall be delivered to parents prior to removal and 24 hours prior to any other action.
"Right to Open Dialogue"
State authorities shall not use the child(ren) to threaten or negotiate with parents. Mediation shall not occur while child is in State custody.
"Right to Due Process"
No internal factual findings by the State without the protection provided by due process. When State has custody of child the family has a right to trial by jury within two weeks and the state cannot extend the trial date.