With the return of the school year, most parents are no doubt excited to have some peace and quiet around the house during the week. Understandably, many parents pay close attention to what their children are learning in public schools, particularly those with younger students going through key formative years. In recent times, increased attention has been drawn to public school curriculums and precisely what educators are teaching the future generations of this country. As part of this process, many parents have made their thoughts known.
What rights do parents have in directing their children’s education?
In 2000, the United States Supreme Court, in deciding Troxel v. Granville, reaffirmed the longstanding precedent that the “liberty” protected by the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution includes the right of parents to “establish a home and bring up their children” and “to control the education of their own.” The Supreme Court cited longstanding decisions such as Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) and Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1925), in reaffirming that the Due Process Clause includes the right to direct the education and upbringing of one’s children. Given this longstanding and extensive line of precedent, the Supreme Court pointed out that it could not be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children. In other words, when it comes to the education and upbringing of their children, parents are constitutionally entitled to have their say.