Parents have a constitutional right to direct the education and upbringing of their children and to prepare them for the obligations of life. In legal terms, this right is part of parents’ right to the “care, custody, and control of their children.” The U.S. Supreme Court has written that “the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children . . . is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.”
What rights do parents have?
As an example, parents typically have a right to receive medical information about their children and to make health care decisions for their children. Parents also generally have a right to direct the education of their children by, for example, deciding whether they attend a public school, private school, or home school.
Like many constitutional rights, though, parental rights are limited when they conflict with a compelling government interest. For instance, parents do not have a right to physically or emotionally abuse their children, or to micro-manage every detail of their children’s education at public schools.
Whether a parent has an enforceable constitutional right typically depends on the precise circumstances involved in the case. Importantly, constitutional rights only protect parents from government action, not from action by private citizens or businesses.
How Can Parents Protect Their Rights?
If you believe a government law, policy, regulation or other action violates your parental rights, then you can look into filing a lawsuit to stop the infringement of your rights. Contact me today if you’d like to discuss your case.