What the Law Says About Parents’ Rights Over Schooling
“Why would we let adults take away students’ freedom to learn to treat each other as equals?”
It is the rallying cry heard in supermajority-controlled statehouses, contentious school board meetings, and the run-up to Virginia’s recent election of a Republican governor: parental freedom! A freedom that credulous, grievance-fueled parents claim they can exert in schools over the curriculum, the books in the library, even health measures during a deadly pandemic.
It’s a ruse. In our constitutional order, children’s freedoms take priority over parental freedoms. Given the overriding importance of schooling to democracy, our laws elevate and protect the rights of all children to learn and to grow as citizens.
That perspective has been lost amid the sound and fury of the education culture war over parental rights. Politicians and activists instead play to the fear that demands for equality and an honest reckoning of our nation’s past threaten parental freedom. We’ve heard that before.
READ the full article in Education Week