What Are Parental Rights?

Parents have the Biblical responsibility, and thus the right, to provide for, protect, nurture, and disciple their children. (Deut. 6:4-9, Eph. 6:4, 1 Tim. 5:8) The government was instituted to protect our God-given rights, including the rights of parents to the care, custody, and control of their children. The United States Supreme Court has affirmed: “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Id. (citing Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510, 534-35 (1925)).

Many parents, including some of our clients, are rightly concerned that the government has violated their fundamental right to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. They want school boards to remove politics from the classroom and get back to academics. They have the right to express those concerns to elected officials and shouldn’t live in fear of government punishment for doing so.

- Kristen Waggoner, ADF General Counsel

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