-- November 1, 2011
A chilling report from Brazil should serve as a warning to all American parents. Recent events reveal what happens when a nation abandons its traditional constitutional standard of parental rights and adopts the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
On October 19th, the Education and Culture Committee of the Chamber of Representatives in Brazil unanimously rejected a bill that would have legalized homeschooling in that country. Families who dare to homeschool in Brazil are prosecuted and kept under government surveillance according to a recent story by Julio Severo on LifeSiteNews.com.
Severo’s article traces the text of the Brazilian Constitution which contained provisions in the 1937, 1946 and 1967 versions that specifically affirmed the home as a place of education for children. However, the 1988 Constitution quietly removed these provisions at the behest of “leftist politicians,” according to Severo.
This Brazilian journalist exposes the role that the CRC has played in this attack on fundamental parental rights.
[An]other serious threat to the families’ rights in the education of their children has been the Child and Adolescent Statute (CAS), which is a direct product of the United Nations Children’s Rights Convention. CAS imposes many state interferences in the Brazilian families and their children, especially in the educational and health issues. CAS has been used by the Child Protective Services of Brazil to enforce the state ban on homeschooling, harass families and their children and put them under legal hardships.
Finally, Severo calls for a new constitutional provision for Brazil to restore the traditional protection of parental rights in education.
The parallels to the United States are unmistakable. The rights of parents to direct the education of their children were traditionally recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court as a high-level constitutional right. However, recent decisions of the Court have undermined that traditional standard and have unleashed a flood of federal appellate cases declaring that parental rights are lower-level rights which may be easily overridden by the government. Justice Scalia heads the list of jurists who have proclaimed that parental rights are not legally protected at all.
At the same time, there are twin threats of the United States adopting the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Obama administration has repeatedly called for the ratification of this dangerous treaty which would supersede all state laws about families including laws which give parents control over the educational and medical decisions of their children. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court and lower federal courts have shown an increasing tendency to employ this UN treaty as valid legal precedent despite the fact that it has never been ratified by the Senate.