The Common Core State Standards Initiative violates so many Constitutional protections, further written in stone by a number of Supreme Court decisions and federal statutes, that it puzzles me how anyone could be so blatantly propose and attempt to put into practice the provisions of the Common Core. The only logical conclusion I can reach is that they really think parents are stupid.
I am reading too many stories of questionable curriculum content in which students were actually told “Don’t discuss this with your parents.” Children are required to participate in standardized testing, objectionable lessons and activities, and parents are put off more and more. There is a move to extend the age to compulsory school attendance and homeschooling is under attack as well. This is a problem.
Arne and the corporate goons want to extend school days to twelve hours. They want us out of the way so they can indoctrinate…I mean raise our kids. As Arne put it, ““And Mom isn’t waiting at home at 2:30 with a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. That just doesn’t happen in many American families anymore.” By the way, it happens in my family. I am a single mom, starving writer for the express goal of being home when my daughter is not in school and to be more involved with her education. Nice try, Arne!
I will give you a brief rundown of some of the case law strongly supporting parents’ rights that Common Core is ignoring.
Meyer v. Nebraska upheld parents’ rights by affirming “the natural duty of the parent to give his children education suitable to their station in life…” Clearly the preferences of the parents in educational matters outweighed those of the government. The court further emphasized, “The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the right of the individual … to establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to his own conscience.”
Pierce v. Society of Sisters confirmed Meyer v. Nebraska and parents’ right to direct the upbringing of their children with regard to religions matters and to direct their children’s education. The decision in Pierce, struck down an Oregon education law which, required all children ages eight and sixteen to be educated in public schools. The Court stated
“Under the doctrine of Meyer v. Nebraska, we think it entirely plain that the Act of 1922 unreasonably interferes with the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children.
The Pierce decision also upheld parents’ rights to protect their children from government standardization, making it clear that children “are not the mere creature of the state…”
The Supreme Court’s decision in Prince v. Massachusetts clearly admitted that parents held the highest responsibility and right to control the upbringing of their children, not the State.
“It is cardinal with us that the custody, care, and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the State can neither supply nor hinder.”
Later, Griswold v. Connecticut, emphasized that the state cannot interfere with the right of a parent to control his child’s education, and that the right to educate one’s child as one chooses is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The Court further stated that this right was applicable by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
In 1972, Wisconsin v. Yoder upheld the Pierce decision by declaring:
“This case involves the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the state, to guide the religious future and education of their children. The history and culture of Western civilization reflect a strong tradition of parental concern for the nurture and upbringing of their children. This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring tradition.”
The 1996 decision in M.L.B. v. S.L.J. firmly voiced that the choices about marriage, family life, and the upbringing of children were ranked as “of basic importance in our society,” again emphasizing that the rights sheltered by the 14th Amendment against the government’s “unwarranted usurpation, disregard, or disrespect.” This particular case involved the State’s authority to permanently sever a parent-child bond. The Court’s decision unequivocally upheld parents’ rights in general.
The Supreme Court stated in the 2000 decisions of Reno v. Flores “There is a presumption that fit parents act in their children’s best interests, there is normally no reason or compelling interest for the State to inject itself into the private realm of the family to further question fit parents’ ability to make the best decisions regarding their children,” and Troxel v. Granville, “The state may not interfere in child rearing decisions when a fit parent is available.”
Further, in 1978, Congress enacted the Protection of Pupil Rights Act, which gives parents the right to inspect educational material–ALL educational material, which would include anything used in the course of providing instruction to our children. Think internet sites, search engines, text books, hand outs…don’t be shy about asking. It’s YOUR right!
A parent has the right to remove a child from objectionable classroom instruction and/or activity. Three clauses in two different amendments lay the solid foundation for these constitutional provisions: the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, and the First Amendment’s Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses.
The American Center for Law and Justice provides some good examples to further illustrate these provisions:
“The potential scenarios faced by Christian parents typically fall into two basic categories—those that involve some degree of student coercion, and those that involve mere “exposure” to objectionable or offensive ideas. An example of the first scenario would be a school curriculum requiring students to participate in mock homosexual wedding ceremonies. Such an activity can be challenged on First Amendment free speech grounds because such a compulsory ritual forces children to endorse speech to which they are morally opposed. Although some lower courts have not been receptive to recent parental challenges to school curricula, the constitutional underpinnings of parental rights in this area are well established. The First Amendment Free Speech and Free Exercise Clauses, combined with the Fourteenth Amendment’s fundamental liberty interest of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, form a strong foundation upon which parents can assert their right to opt their children out of objectionable school material or activities. The higher the degree of coercion on students to participate in, or otherwise endorse the classroom activity, the stronger the constitutional argument in favor of a parental opt-out right.”
What can parents do?
They can get involved! Write a few letters to Congressmen, read to become more familiar with parents’ rights and how they are being stolen, talk to other parents, hold a few meetings to educate other parents, run for school board, and becoming involved in educational policy making.
Just please, stand up and speak out. Silence is deadly.
- Opting Out Of Testing Is A Parental Right Supported by the Supreme Court (grumpyelder.com)
- Proof that Your Parental Rights are Vanishing (ivoter.com)
- We Must Continue The Fight To Keep Common Core Standards Out Our Children’s Life – Oregon Parents Pull Children Out of Common Core Math (jeffwernerfordelegate.wordpress.com)
- Parental Rights Amendment and Protection from the UN