As the global battle over parental rights heats up, Republicans in Congress responded on Tuesday by introducing a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution enshrining the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children. Activists and lawmakers say the move is needed to permanently and explicitly guarantee what has long been recognized as a fundamental freedom.
Known as the Parental Rights Amendment (PRA), if approved, the measure would also protect the rights of Americans against any international treaties purporting to infringe on them. Additionally, the PRA would ensure that the right of parents to choose how to educate their children — homeschooling, private school, or religious instruction, for example — would be protected nationwide.
“We must protect the liberty of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children,” explained Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the lead sponsor of the measure in the Senate. “Unfortunately, parental rights are under attack, and a safeguard like this amendment is necessary.”
One of the most controversial global measures cited by supporters of the constitutional amendment is known as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The treaty, which has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate, remains extraordinarily unpopular among liberty-minded Americans.
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