What Happened To Parental Rights?

by Berit Kjos - 1996

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"To raise a happy, healthy and hopeful child, it takes...all of us. Yes, it takes a village." Hillary Clinton addressing the 1996 Democratic Convention


"Parents give up their rights when they drop the children off at public school."1 Texas Federal District Judge Melinda Harmon

"You are not welcome at this school," warned the second-grade teacher. "We feel that you are criticizing and watching over our shoulder." Stunned, the Kansas mother 2 listened. She had voiced her reluctance to let her daughter attend an "historical" play that touted hypnotism and spiritism. Didn't she and her husband have the right to raise their daughter according to biblical guidelines?

Apparently not in the eyes of local educators. They are not alone. A Colorado mother was "expelled from the school grounds" for sharing her concern over the earth-centered spirituality taught as part of environmental education. Two New York mothers faced ridicule for objecting to the use of Magic Gathering-a psychologically addictive occult card game-to teach math. It didn't matter that the elementary age students would "summon" the ghostly forces shown on the cards they collected, calling out "spirits, enter me."

In 1988, parents in San Ramon, California, resisted the classroom use of R-rated movies. The movies were stopped-for a season. But four teachers, the local teacher's union, and the California Teachers Association sued the school board and superintendent for (1) violating their constitutional right to free speech in the classroom and (2) for allegedly heeding the religious view of a small minority of citizens. The teachers won. On May 18, 1990, a California Superior Court decided that a teacher's constitutional rights supersedes the concerns of parents and the school board.3

While parents were denied the right to protect their children, the teachers were protected from parents who supposedly violate their right to educate their students their way. Who, then, is responsible for the wellbeing of children?

"We are!" say Christian parents. "It's our God-given, inalienable, and constitutional right."

"No, we are!" argue politically correct educators, social workers, psychologists, and politicians who make up the local and global "village." They often respond with contempt when faced with Christian arguments for parental rights. Few have voiced this growing hostility more bluntly than did Kathy Collins, former Legal Counsel to the Iowa Department of Education. In her article, "Children Are Not Chattel," she said,

"Children... are not 'owned' by their parents.... The Christian fundamentalists who want the freedom to indoctrinate their children with religious education do not understand [that] the law that prevents them from legally teaching their kids prevents someone else from abusing theirs." 4

In other words, training children according to biblical guidelines is equated with child abuse. Seen from the new global perspective, the old beliefs are handicaps which hinder the preparation of "human resources" for the global workforce." What seems absurd from a biblical perspective-such as the much-quoted 1972 statement below by Dr. Chester Pierce-makes perfect sense to globalists:

"Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances toward our founding fathers, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being.... It's up to you, teachers, to make all of these sick children well by creating the international children of the future."5

Educational leaders have warned that it's not enough to change the children. Adults must be reached as well. The solution? Hillary Clinton's vision of the collective village! Her book popularized today's plan for child raising through a network of "partnerships" designed to weaken the rights of noncompliant parents. Teachers, social workers, psychologists, business and church leaders... all would trained in the new ways of thinking and believing. All would be taught to compromise and find "common ground". All must embrace the new visions and values. And all must help parents raise their children according to politically correct ways-whether parents want their training or not.

After all, the collective society cannot, as Hillary Clinton suggests, "arrive at a consensus of values and a common vision,"6 unless everyone participates in the process. Nor can it create Clinton's form of consensus without "resisting the lure of extremist rhetoric and balancing individual rights and freedoms with personal responsibility and mutual obligations."7 All people must join in the new community dialogues where trained facilitators lead unsuspecting "stakeholders" toward predetermined outcome. All must be willing to pay for their personal rights by accepting the new collective responsibilities.

This revolution in values was planned more than half a century ago. In 1946, psychiatrist Brock Chisholm, head of the World Health Organization (WHO), described the "new" attitude toward old-fashioned parents and called for an "eradication of the concept of right and wrong":

"We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents.... The results are frustration, inferiority, neurosis and inability to... make the world fit to live in....

"It has long been generally accepted that parents have perfect right to impose any points of view, any lies or fears, superstitions, prejudices, hates, or faith on their defenseless children.... These things cause neuroses....

"Surely the training of children in homes and schools should be of at least as great public concern as are their vaccination... [People with] guilts, fears, inferiorities, are certain to project their hates on to others.... Such reaction now becomes a dangerous threat to the whole world.... Whatever the cost, we must... [put] aside the mistaken old ways of our elders.... If it cannot be done gently, it may have to be done roughly or even violently."8

Hillary Clinton's vision had been brewing in the minds of UN and other globalist change agents for decades. In 1967, psychologist Hal Robinson, who served on a presidential task force, sought the perfect blend of family and society as a child-rearing institution. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation and the U.S. government and named after UN leader Frank Graham, the project started an experimental day-care center.9

A few years later, Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the U.N., addressed the Executive Board of UNICEF, saying:

"Until fairly recently, in most societies, the responsibility for child development rested entirely with parents.... This... is changing... The process of child development has to be the concern of society as a whole-on the national and international level. From the very beginning, the leaders of UNICEF... clearly understood this...." 10

In 1981, American educators began to implement UNICEF's vision. The Missouri Department of Education launched the first government program to actually tell parents how to raise their children. Under the misleading title, Parents as Teachers (PAT), it was introduced as a voluntary project to help disadvantaged children. Five years later, it had been introduced in 40 states and "at least eight foreign countries."11 In 1994, it was signed into law as part of Goals 2000.

To win public support for PAT and countless other pieces of the global transformation puzzle, educators have begun a massive nationwide campaign to promote their vision and silence opposition. Nothing illustrates this "social marketing"12 effort better han Education Secretary Riley's Community Action Toolkit, which arms local change agents with persuasive strategies for winnining the community to their side, building partnerships, and responding to dissenting parents.

Remember, a peaceful transformation cannot succeed without general consent from the public-however uninformed that consent might be. And what strategy could better win support among the opposing forces than a friendly invitation to cooperate, share the new vision, and seek "common ground"? This process works because few dare even suspect what the change agents plan to do to parents. Even church leaders, who should be a parent's prime defender, have become "partners" to the horrendous betrayal. Left behind, are countless Christian parents who stand alone in their attempt to raise godly children God's way.

Some seek protection through state and national "parental rights" laws. But many of these bills and laws bring new dangers. Often the "rights" they promise are conditioned on parental compliance with ambiguous "responsibilities" or "duties" open to politically correct interpretations by educators and legislators. Failure to meet even one of the "duties" could cancel all the "rights".

The 1996 Parental Rights and Responsibilities Act (PRRA) ties parental rights to the parental responsibility for teaching children "literacy" and "citizenship"-two terms with open-ended meanings. Could "citizenship" imply world citizenship? It does, in some educational literature.

Would courts interpret "literacy" according to its traditional meaning or as used in California's History-Social Science Framework which calls for Historical Literacy (including cultural empathy and respect for various religious traditions) Ethical Literacy (looks at ethics from a global or UN perspective), Cultural Literacy (including the myths, values, and beliefs of cultures), Economic Literacy (understanding "the problem of scarcity" --a Marxist philosophical view--and evaluating "the distribution of scarce resources" globally), and Sociopolitical Literacy (understanding political systems and the influences that affect the "interpretations the Constitution").

Someone has warned that "those who define the terms control the system." The educational establishment-at the local, state, national and international levels-have a compelling interest in both legislating and defining parent responsibilities. To implement their agenda for the governance of each local "village", they need to link parents to an enforcable standard. Their children will be the hostage, and parental rights the carrot used to ensure compliance.

Therefore, any "parental rights" bill that that links "rights" to unspecified "responsibilities" or "duties" is dangerous. By redefining words and specifying duties, educators can force parents into "partnerships" that involve politically correct training in the "new" global values and group thinking. As the much-quoted globalist Professor John Goodlad suggests, parents as well as children must be indoctrinated with the new values:

"Enlightened social engineering is required to face situations that demand global action now... Parents and the general public must be reached also, otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back."13

While leading educators express "compelling interest" in conforming everyone to their global views, legislators and governors follow suit. In 1996, Ohio's governor signed a new education bill which requires certain parents to participate in new training programs. This "Ohio Revised Code" (ORC) states:

"No person required to attend a parental education or training program... shall fail to attend the program. Whoever violates this section is guilty of parental education neglect, a misdemeanor of the 4th degree." (Sec.2919.222)

When the state assumes power to tell any parent what and how to teach their children, all parents need to be on guard. Citing studies by the Carnegie Foundation and World Health Organization, Hillary Clinton suggest that the new "breakthroughs in psychology and neuroscience" that sheds light" on human behavior be communicated to "all parents." That includes parents who homeschool as well as those who use private and public schools.

Both our children and our endangered constitutional rights need protection. To win this battle, consider these warnings:

1. Know that our view of parental rights differs radically from that of most contemporary educators who can neither understand our objections nor accept our "inalienable rights." They believe they-not parents-are responsible for preparing children for the global workforce and the 21st century village.

2. Claiming our God-given rights won't persuades most contemporary judges. Many are trained to see parenting from a liberal and global-not traditional and Christian-perspective. Right or wrong, they have legal authority to remove children from parents.

3. Don't jump on parental rights legislation bandwagons at local, state or national level without thorough examination. Many great-sounding bills would do the opposite of what they seem to promise. Since the Constitution has already been reinterpreted by the courts to fit politically correct ideology, parents must resist all bills that could give the state-rather than the parents-a "compelling interest", thus weaken rather than enforce our endangered parental rights.14

4. Don't be deceived by the tempting promises. God's Word says it well: "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." (Colossians 2:7-9)

5. While we base this battle on biblical truths and follow God's ways (pray first, speak in love, demonstrate the life of Jesus....) we must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. That means speaking a language educators can understand-which, in turn, means understanding their words and definitions. (The glossary in Brave New Schools will help you.)

6. Most important, we must pray and seek God's guidance. Without His Word, His counsel, His strength, and His blessing we cannot win. With Him, we are more than conquerors through Christ-whether this monstrous system is stopped or not.

For practical information about our national-international school system and today's social transformation, read Brave New Schools.


1 James Becker, Editor, Schooling for a Global Age, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1979), xiii, xvii.

2"Judge Redefines Role Of Parents," CAJI News Service, AFA Journal, September 1996.

3 The names of all Christian parents and children have been changed for their protection and privacy.

4 I attended a San Ramon community forum convened to discuss this issue and talked with parents and teachers involved.

5 Kathy Collins, "Children are not Chattel, "Free Inquiry, a publication of CODESH (Council, for Democratic and Secular Humanism), (Fall 1987), 11.

6 From keynote address to the Association for Childhood Education International (Denver, April 1972) by Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Professor of Education and Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University.

7 Hillary Clinton, It Takes a Village (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), 14.

8 Ibid., 15.

9 G. B. Chisholm, "The Re-establishment of Peacetime Society," Psychiatry (February 1946); 7, 9-10, 16, 18.

10 Dennis Laurence Cuddy, Ph.D., Chronology of Education (1994, Pro Family Forum, Box 1059, Highland City, FL 33846), 39. Dr. Cuddy's fuller explanation is worth reading.

11 Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the U.N., addressing to the Executive Board of UNICEF,

April 1972. Cited by Cuddy, Chronology, 51.

12 Laura Rogers, "In Loco Parentis I," Chronicles Magazine, a publication of the Rockford Institute (February 19, 1991), 42.

13 "Guide to Getting Out Your Message," National Education Goals Panel Community Action Toolkit: A Do-It-Yourself Kit for Education Renewal (September 1994); 6.

14 For updates on PRRA and other parental rights bills, check the Christian Conscience website at http://www.netins.net/showcase/conscience

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