Parental Bill of Rights- Action Needed

Filed in Legislation and Important Updates by on February 25, 2014 1 Comment

Rep. Janet Trujillo

District 33

The Supreme Court has time and again affirmed the well established principle that parents possess a right to control the upbringing of their children: “The custody, care and nurture of the child resides first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder.”  Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158, 166 (1944). This fundamental liberty interest of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children has been reaffirmed by the Supreme Court twice in just the last fifteen years. See Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702 (1997); Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000). The general notion of parental rights is rooted in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. However, a number of additional constitutional as well as statutory provisions lend further support to parental rights in general….” American Center for Law and Justice.

Parents’ fundamental rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children have been repeatedly recognized and protected by the United States Supreme Court. When creating the U.S. Department of Education, the United States Congress enacted statutory law that states “parents have the primary responsibility for the education of their children,” and that “states, localities, and private institutions have the primary responsibility for supporting that parental role.

The Justice Foundation.


Arizona and Utah both have parental right provisions in their statutes and I studied these to come up with what I thought would be a good start to providing Idaho with these same statutory rights. I never dreamed I would face such opposition putting parental rights into statute. What I found was an education system that is not willing to tell parents they have rights. The fear seems to be that by putting parental rights into statute we would give parents rights above the school system and that parents would have the right to opt out of the assessment tests. Shouldn’t this be the case? Aren’t parents rights guaranteed under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution? The Idaho AG’s office has stated “it cannot fairly be said that parents have a fundamental right to exercise primary control over the education of their children….” I now know how important it is to ensure our parental rights are protected in the state of Idaho.



Representative Trujillo has met with resistance from the House Education Committee Chairman, Reed DeMordaunt and Wendy Horman, House Education Committee member.  There is a print hearing Thursday morning to determine if this bill will be printed and then heard in committee.  Please contact Chairman DeMordaunt, let him know you feel strongly about parental rights and want House Bill 499 to be heard.

House Education Committee:




Comments (1)

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  1. boandbria says:

    What happened to this bill? I was told this morning, after taking in our opt out forms, that our school board policy, that states that 3rd through 11th graders are required to take the the standardized tests, over rides my parental rights. What?!! I need this bill to pass!

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